Blackwall Yard

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Blackwall Yard was built by the East India Company, with construction beginning in 1614 and the yard functional by 1617. In 1650 the yard was sold to a private company.

In 1803 a large part of the Blackwall Yard was sold to the East India Dock Company for the new East India Docks. In 1814 Blackwall Yard was owned by George Green and Robert Wigam as Wigam & Green. The partnership between the families continued until 1843, when Blackwall Yard was split into two separate businesses divided by a brick wall.

Wigram & Sons took over the western half the yard, which was the ‘historic’ yard with many of the buildings dating from the 17th century. In 1877 Wigram & Sons sold the yard to Midland Railway Company, which renamed Blackwall Yard as Poplar Dock.Midland Railway Company added a coal-depot and connected the dock to the London and Blackwall Railway. Poplar Dock was badly damaged in the Second World War, so the remaining structures were demolished and the site was used for storing fuel oil until the late 1980s.

R. & H. Green took over the eastern side of the yard and in 1876 they began the construction of a new graving dock, which was opened in 1878. The company was incorporated in 1894, under the name of R. & H. Green Ltd, and continued to build ships until 1907 and focused on repairing ships after that. R. & H. Green Ltd amalgamated with Silley Weir & Company in 1910 as R. H. Green & Silley Weir Ltd. The yard continued to be improved and refurbished after the First World War. “In 1977 the failing company merged with the London Graving Dock Company Ltd to form River Thames Shiprepairers Ltd, a division of the nationalized British Shipbuilders, the works at Blackwall being known as Blackwall Engineering. British Shipbuilders was wound up in 1982, but the yard continued in the occupation of Blackwall Engineering until 1987” (Blackwall Yard: Development, c.1819-1991).


1617 to 1987


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From To Owner
1617 1650 East India Company
1814 1843 Wigram & Green


From To Industry
1617 1987 Shipyards