Limehouse – Three Mills Island Walk – 16.05.2010

Boats, Heavy Machinery, Workers, Boats, Dock Rats, General Strike during the 20’s, devastation of the war – these all conjure up pictures of the London Docklands.

This walk took us to Shadwell Basin, via Wapping Wall – to see part of what was the London Docklands.  Having originally planed to go straight to Limehouse Basin, our route was slightly diverted, well our walks are never straight forward are they ?!?! (If you have been following my blog you will know that!)

Following an unlikely route down the commercial road and I sported a blue plaque for the actor Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen.  I have since discovered that he had worked with John Wayne in the Quiet Man which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor!

Eventually we found ourselves at Shadwell Basin. I must admit it did strike me a odd to see the canal that fed the basin as blocked off, and the water with no where to go –

From 2010 – 16.05.2010 – Limehouse – Three Mills Island

It did not look like there had been any industry in this area for a long time just tucked away and seemed very odd to be in London, did not seem to be right to me anyway.  Although it was secluded, it was hardly quiet, since it was well used for a Canoeing School (and for Children to Jump into it!).   The wildlife seemed to like it though.  When we walked to the other side of the basin we did find some reminders of the basin’s past, the odd mooring post, a derelict Warehouse Tower, Large Swing Bridge for large commercial Boats to sail through.

Leaving the basin behind, we were now walking along the Thames Path.    As we meandered down the side of the river, we found ourselves In King Edward Memorial Park.  With a very strange Building in Front of Us!  The first thing that struck me was the Memorial Stone for all those Sailors (Sir Hugh Willouby, Stephen Borough, William Borough, Sir Martin Frobisher) that went out to Explore the Northern Seas in C16th.  How amazing to think we have all these modern gadgets such as Sat Nav and we still dont know where we are going!  Yet these sailors often ended using compasses and even the stars and still managed to find a way forward!

The Odd Building I mentioned was the Shaft of the Rotherhithe Tunnel.  It has been in existence since 1908 and still used by traffic today.  I was shocked to find a shaft in a middle of a park!  I will never listen to a traffic report the same again when they say there is yet another traffic jam in the “Rotherhithe Tunnel!” (Any visitors to London just listen out carefully!)

From 2010 – 16.05.2010 – Limehouse – Three Mills Island

Moving on from the small but lovely park, we carried on down the Thames and saw yet more reminders of the Docks and the Thames past, Railway trucks, docking areas for barges etc. It was then we reached Limehouse Basin, which was much larger than Shadwell Basin and was open to boat traffic. It was the entrance to two rivers – well River Lea and Regents Canal. We were walking the Limehouse Cut and the River Lea, and starting the walk of the River Lea from a different angle which you may have read about Click here to read my blog if you missed it! This was our chance to start the walk the other way!

The Limehouse Cut took us through some unexciting scenery, but needless to say we could see the reminders of how this canal would have been active in years past – sadly the warehouses that lined the canal now were mainly derelict – otherwise they were now residential – which was rather nice to see.  Not many boats were on this stretch which meant the bird population was thriving sadly so was the rubbish :-(.

Just before we approached Bow locks at we had to go under the Northern Approach Road and we came across some really old Lock Gates which were no longer in use.  It was so odd that the path had too go through under the road and through old lock gates.  It was then the path joined Bow Locks.

From 2010 – 16.05.2010 – Limehouse – Three Mills Island

Bow Locks had been built in 1930’s which was hard to believe really, and now in 2010 they are still in use by British waterways.  Crossing the Narrow stone Bridge we joined the Lea Valley Walk.  As we made are way onward we realised that we had to go under two railway bridges, one mainline and one underground line bridge.  Luckily we escaped having either thundering over our heads at the exact moment we walked underneath either bridge!

It was then we came to Three Mills Island.  A strange looking building sits on this island….This was all part of a Three Mills Distillery! With Clock Mill, Millers House and other Buildings .  The Mills have been there for over a Thousand years (not as a distillery I hasten to add!)  There is so much more… to Read Here about  Three Mills House Mill

Unfortunately, we were unable to visit, since it shut at 4pm on a Sunday… Which seemed to always happen to us!  Never mind.  On another occasion…  We explored the island a little bit further, the discovery of Three Mills Studios (British Film Studios) and then it was time to walk on.   However as we started are walk on to the Olympic Park (Towards Stratford) the rain hit and we had to abandon the walk…   Oh well More discover later for us!

Our route is a little difficult to map this week, so I cant provide a Google map, sorry.  However all the photos are –

2010 – 16.05.2010 – Limehouse – Three Mills Island



2 responses to “Limehouse – Three Mills Island Walk – 16.05.2010

  1. Pingback: Gillingham – Strood Walk 07.08.2010 « Karen's Sponsored Walks Around Cornwall & Scotland

  2. Pingback: Thames Path – St Katherine’s Dock – London Wall « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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