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Nelson House & Dock
Nelson House and Nelson Dock
Nelson House and Nelson Dock

Thames tour of Rotherhithe: Stage 2

Turn left into Randall's Rents and right into Odessa Street, once home to some of Rotherhithe's shipyards and granaries.

You will pass modern residential apartments before rejoining the Thames Path by the red crane.

On the Thames Path, before you reach the animal statues, you will need to cut through Wyatt Close and Vaughan Street.

Turn right onto Rotherhithe Street and follow this road bearing right.

You will see Trinity Halls and Church, built in 1836 as the Trinity National School founded by Revd. Edward Blick.

The earliest shipyard in Rotherhithe was known to operate in 1746
Rotherhithe Street is the longest street in London
The horses for the old fire station were hired at a cost of £69
The ship Carcass was built in Rotherhithe and Horatio Nelson served on it in 1773
The area around this end of Rotherhithe Street was known as Downtown
Nelson Dock is the only dry dock left in London and was known as Cuckolds Point in the 17th and 18th century's

There are also two historic rope wells recently restored.

Surrey Docks farm is on the right at this point (entrance is free and is open 10am-5pm, closed Mon & Fri).

You rejoin the Thames Path, near to the farm entrance, for a short walk before cutting through the gardens and returning to Rotherhithe Street.

Just pass the hotel you will notice Nelson House and Nelson Dock.

Nelson House

Nelson House was built in the 1740s on a former shipyard and probably built for one of the shipbuilding owners.

'La Dame de Serk' which was built by the French Navy in 1952
'La Dame de Serk' which was built by the French Navy in 1952

Unusually the front entrance faces Rotherhithe Street rather than the Thames, this leads to the possibility that it led to the shipyard.

The roof has an octagonal cupola with stunning views of the river.

This Grade II* building is now in use as offices and not open to the public.

Nelson Dock

Next to the house is Nelson Dock.

This dry dock was used for shipbuilding from the 17th Century and is not thought to be named after the famous admiral but possibly another Nelson.

Warships and clippers were built here along with many other ships until the dock closed in 1968.

The buildings you see today are the surviving sheds of Mill's and Knight ship repairers who were based at Nelson Dock from 1886 until the docks closed.

The ship 'La Dame de Serk' is now moored in the dry dock by the Hilton Hotel.

As you continue along Rotherhithe Street you will pass the Blacksmith's Arms.

If you are able to navigate a couple of steps you can turn right by the Canada Wharf Building and walk along the Thames Path, otherwise just continue along the street.

Fire Station

The old fire station, Rotherhithe
The old fire station, Rotherhithe

The next building of interest is the old fire station (now riverside flats).

It was built in 1903 although an older station was here before.

It was required to cope with any fires that might break out due to the large timber stocks located around the docks.

You will notice the red doors - these were for the horse drawn vehicles used by the fire station.

The station was one of London's busiest and closed in 1965.

The Thames Path
22 Dec 09 |  Things to do


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