Poplar

Much of this section about Poplar derives from the writings of Prebendary Arthur Royall
(13 October 1919 – 17 June 2013). Many of his articles became part of the Royall family website at http://www.royall.co.uk/. His street names of Poplar was mostly in turn derived from The Streets of London by S.Fairfield, an out-of-print book published by Macmillan in 1983.


Abbott Road

The developer and builder was a Mr. John Abbott who is commemorated in Abbott Road the longest street through this part of Poplar.

Aberfeldy Street

The area of Poplar bounded by the East India Road on the south, the North London Railway on the west, the Limehouse Cut on the north and the River Lea on the east contains a large number of streets with Scottish names. The initial letters of the street names spanned the alphabet from A to Z.

Adderley Street

Adderley Street is a reminder of the Reverend and Honourable James Adderley who was the Priest in Charge of St.Frideswides, Poplar 1888-1893. It is said that he came to Poplar like a whirlwind, his social conscience involving him in activities considered by many in the hierarchy to be dangerously radical. He excelled in outdoor preaching and speaking, this he did frequently at the Dock Gates and not always on religious themes. At St. Frideswides he had succeeded his brother the Honourable Reginald.

Ailsa Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Amoy Place

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

Bartlett Park

Prebendary Phillip Bartlett served as Vicar of St. Saviour’s, Northumberland Street for almost forty years. He came to the parish in 1919 a notable Anglo-Catholic Priest of the old school. He was generous (some would say too generous) to parishioners in need, having substantial private means.

Bazely Street

This was formerly part of Bow Lane on the east side after The Revd. Thomas Bazeley who in the 1850s was the Rector. The Act of Parliament creating the parish, gave to the vestrymen power to “place or cause to be placed, bars or rails at the end of any street or place immediately leading or adjoining the said Parish Church to prevent noise during the time of Divine Service.”

Blackwall Way

Took its name from the ‘black wall’, an ancient embankment of earth along this portion of the Thames. Or Blackwall could come from the “bleak wall,” the bleak east wind sweeping over the river wall here.

Blair Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Brabazon Street

Brabazon Street commemorates the Metropolitan Gardens Association’s founder, Lord Brabazon the 12th Earl of Meath.  The society was founded in 1882 to provide gardens and playgrounds in Inner-London. The Earl was an Alderman of the London County Council in the last decade of the 19th c. Brabazon Street, was formerly named Walker Street. There was an extensive re-naming of streets in inner London after 1856, when the Metropolitan Board of Works began to operate. Perhaps this was one of the changes made at that time. Not all the changes met with popular approval, later in the century some authorities and old local authorities changed their policies; personal names and others associated with the local history were revived for new streets.

Bromley Hall Road

Bromley Hall Road is close to Bromley Hall the Manor House of the Lower Manor, this house existed as early as the 12th century. The present house was entirely remodelled in the later half of the 18th century.

Broomfield Street

In many urban areas early field names have been preserved when naming newly built residential roads, Broomfield Street is an example of that in Poplar.

Brunswick Road

All but a short section has now been swallowed up in the Northern Approach Road to Blackwall Tunnel, originally approached the Brunswick Dock. Based on the old well established Blackwall Yard, the dock was built in 1789 by John Perry, a noted ship-owner and builder, who was a staunch friend and supporter of William Pitt. The road was named as a compliment to the reigning Royal House. King George III paid a visit to the Blackwall Yard. Later this Dock was incorporated into the East India Dock system.

Burdett Road

The natural western boundary of Poplar. The street was renamed in honour of Baroness Burdett Coutts, the Victorian millionairess and philanthropist and of her work for the poor of London.

Canton Street

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

Coborn Road
Coborn Street

Recall one of Bows most generous benefactors Priscilla Coborn a wealthy widow. She provided money for the support of seamen?s widows and it was her generosity that provided for the foundation of the Coborn Girls School that was situated in the Bow Road until sadly together with the Coopers Company School it moved in the 1970?s into Essex. The name Coborn enjoyed widespread fame of a popular kind in late Victorian days when it was adopted by a Music Hall artist named Colin McCallum as his stage name. As Charles Coborn he was Top of the Bill for many years, and is credited with having imortalised two particular popular songs Two lovely Black Eyes and the Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo. Before the road was built up it was known as Berribinder Lane.

Coldharbour

Coldharbour, runs parallel to the riverside and leads off Preston Road. It is so named for a house called Coldharbour in Blackwall, and thought to have belonged to Sir John Poultenay of Coldharbour, in the City of London’s, Upper Thames Street. This knight was Lord of the Manor of Poplar in the 14th century. Coldharbour boasts a popular riverside pub, “The Gun”, which in the 1960-70s was a hostel favoured by the then Rector of Poplar. Horatio Nelson is reputed to have had a house, No 3, in this riverside street.

The name Coldharbour is one which first appears on maps in 1617 as Coleharbor. It is a name often associated with parts of a river used for accommodating coastal vessels and noted for providing few amenities ashore. Fortunately by the time I was Rector of Poplar it provided excellent facilities in the well known riverside public house The Gun.

Joseph Cotton was deputy master of Trinity House from 1803, a director of the East India Company 1795-1823 and chairman of the newly-formed East India Company.

Chrisp Street

Chrisp Street itself was named after Sir Nicholas Chrisp or Crisp who lived at the nearby Bromley Hall manor house in the 17th. Century.

Any prolonged conversation about Poplar will inevitably produce a mention of Chrisp Street, which because of its street market in days past is at the heart of the district. East London had many such markets. Writing in his book ” East London” Robert Sinclair says ” In Chrisp Street, nearly opposite Poplar church, is a street market that is local and genuine. It lacks the degrading squalor of some of Bethnal Green’s week-end pavement huckstering, the entertaining Jewish oratory of Middlesex Street, and the visitation of the curious from other parts of London”. Blocked with barrows and carts it was the lively shopping centre for South Poplar and the Isle of Dogs. Badly damaged during the war, the market was incorporated into the post war development named the Lansbury Estate. George Lansbury was one of the greatest of the Labour champions of working class London.

Cotton Street

Culloden Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Dee Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Driffield Road

Driffield Road along which ran the boundary with Bethnal Green is named for the Reverend G.T. Driffield who became Rector of Bow in 1844. The population of Bow was at that time 7,000 and rising rapidly. The Rector was convinced that a church was needed in North Bow, finding great difficulty in raising the money necessary, he took the rash step of transferring to the building account a large sum from the endowment of his own living and later of borrowing ?2,000 on the security of his own life insurance. The Church of St. Stephen was built and Mr. Driffield’s self sacrifice caused him to live in straitened circumstances for the remainder of his life. The new church was situated in Tredegar Road on a plot of land given by Lord Tredegar.

Ettrick Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Fairfield Road

On June 11th 1664 Samuel Pepys accompanied by his wife. feeling in need of some fresh air, took a ride into the countryside his first stop being at Bow. It seems likely that it was the day of the annual Fair which continued to be held until the mid-nineteenth century. The ground on which the fair was held was crossed by a road which later became Fairfield Road and along which Pepys and his wife would have continued their journey to Old Ford and Hackney.

Findhorn Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Glengall Grove
Glengall Road

Recall the Second Earl of Glengall born in 1794 who married the daughter of William Mellish an extensive land owner on the Isle of Dogs.

Glengarnock Avenue

Glengarnock Avenue takes its name from a former steelworks in the area.

Grundy Street

Cows were  kept behind a dairy in this street almost up to W.W.2 The origin of the name is as they say “uncertain”. It is suggested that one Thomas Grundy of Poplar was working locally as a carpenter and joiner in the area in 1805 and may have begun the first houses in the street.

Kitcat Terrace

Runs alongside the railway line where it crosses Bow Road is named after the Reverend Henry Kitcat who was Rector of Bow 1903-1921. During his incumbency the Parish Hall was built at end of this street.

Lax Street

Lax of Poplar was the long serving Minister of the Poplar Methodist Mission in the East India Dock Road (1903-1937) who was Mayor of Poplar 1918-19. He wrote an account of his work in an autobiography “Lax of Poplar”.

Leamouth Road

Mouth of the River Lea.

Leven Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Lochnagar Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Managers Street

In Coldharbour was a wharf belonging in the 19th.c to the Managers of the Metropolitan Asylum District, the street leading to the wharf, was rather unimaginatively named Managers Street.

Manorfields School

Manorfields School like the houses in Uamvar Street and others around it was built on fields belonging to the Lower Manor of Bromley.

Ming Street

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

Morris Road

Commemorates the name of a local landowner.

Mountague Place

On the south side of the church was named after a Churchwarden and Treasurer of the parish.

Nanking Street

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

NEWBY Place in which stands the Parish Church of All Saints, the Rectory and at one time the Town Hall, was part of a plot of land consisting of a house, garden and field owned by a Mrs.Ann Newby. The Vestry had advertised for a building site and had been offered three. The road originally opened out of Poplar High Street and was not carried through to the East India Dock Road, until the church was completed in 1823.

Oban Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Old Ford Road

Old Ford, upstream from Bow, was an early crossing of the River Lea, the lowest point on the river where it was possible to cross regularly on foot. It was thought to be the point used by the Romans making their way from the City to Colchester. After Bow Bridge was built was built this ford quickly fell into disuse. Old Ford Road approached the Ford along a line further north which also led to the hamlet that grew up around it.

Orchard Place

Its name it seems was taken from “Orchard House Inn”. It became populated in the 1840s when 100 two-storey cottages and several factories were built. Tides could flood the cottages up to the ninth stair level, and the banks had to be raised to overcome this inconvenience. The late Henry Wilks, in his study of the locality says “Bow Creek Junior School had 160 children on roll in 1932; 100 pupils bore the surname of Lammin, the rest were largely of the names Jeffries and Scanlan.

Oriental Street

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

Parnell Street

Parnell Street recalls the first Vicar of St. Stephens, North Bow 1857-1851.

Pekin Street

A reminder of Poplar’s old “Chinese” quarter, which centred on the West India Dock Road.

Pennyfields

Pennyfields was at one time a well known street. This name was recorded as long ago as 1663.It is thought to have originated from what we might refer to as a peppercorn rent. However another theory is that it is a corruption of Pennygntons Fields, land owned by Isaac Penyngton, Lord Mayor of London in 1642.

Plimsoll Street commemorating as it does Samuel Plimsoll, who was responsible for the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 is a reminder of Poplar’s maritime links. The Plimsoll line painted on the hull of a ship indicated the safe waterline when loaded. This innovation greatly increased the safety of those who manned merchant ships.

Poplar High Street

With the building of the East India Dock Road, Poplar High Street became a little used back street. When it was indeed the local High Street leading to Blackwall it was “a quaint straggling length of gabled houses, many built of wood, little gardens and trees in front of many of them, almost every second house an inn, beer house or place of refreshment”. In this somewhat low profile High Street was St. Matthias Church the old East India Company chapel and also ” a quaint building, Poplar Hospital, a home of refuge or hostel for the East India Company’s aged seaman.” Much later at the narrow end of the street there was The Queens Theatre a very popular Music Hall and one of the last theatre buildings to survive in East London.

Prestons Road

Built across land belonging to Sir Robert Preston.

Priory Street

Several streets derive there names from an association with the Convent of St. Leonard Bromley by Bow. Priory Street is built on part of the site of the old Priory which was dissolved in 1535.

Releana Street

Sir Walter Raleigh had a house at Blackwall and RALEANA Street serves to remind us of this fact.

Saunders Ness Road

Saunders Ness is the name of a portion of the foreshore of the Thames at the south-east corner of the Isle of Dogs from which the name of Saunders Ness Road is taken.

George Green School which began life in the East India Dock road in occupies a site between Saunders Ness Road and Manchester Road.

St Leonard’s Road

St Leonard’s Road leads to St Leonard Bromley by Bow.

St Leonard’s Street

St Leonard’s Street leads to St Leonard Bromley by Bow.

Spey Street

One of the “Scottish street names” of Poplar derived from the estate which had been bought by the McIntosh family in 1823.

Stainsby Road

Jerome.K.Jerome, the humorous writer who achieved instant fame with his novel “Three Men in a Boat”, although born in Walsall grew up in this Poplar Street. Renamed in 1860 from Stainborough Road the name seems to have come from the fact that a Conant Stainsbury owned land along Burdett Road.

Teviot Street

One of the “tartan” streets of Poplar.  A large portion of freehold the freehold land bought by Mr. Abbott from the Scottish McIntosh estate was formerly known as Bromley Marsh.

Tredegar Road

Tredegar Road was a plot of land owned by Lord Tredegar formerly Sir Charles Morgan who is also commemorated by several street names in Stepney.

Upper North Street

Cows were kept behind a dairy in Upper North Street until the late 1930s. From time to time the animals were taken for a walk along the local streets.

Wade Place

Commemorates the name of a local landowner.

Waterman’s Arms

Island Gardens front the river giving a fine view of the former Royal Naval College, Greenwich directly opposite. Occupying a site facing the river is the well know public house is the Waterman’s Arms (formerly the Newcastle Arms) which in the swinging sixties was a celebrity spot.

 



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