Sunday, 17 August 2014

A trip to south east London: Museum of London Docklands

Since reading Spitalfields Life I have been keen to learn more about London's vast history. I am particularly interested in the River Thames and what better place to learn about the history of the Thames in London than the Museum of London Docklands. I headed out just after lunch and got the tube to Canary Wharf and then changed onto the DLR to go to West India Quay. Turns out that is probably the most pointless train journey ever! It literally takes you less time to walk to West India Quay from Canary Wharf! However you do have the joy of getting off at a train station that is on a bridge.

One of the first things you see when you enter the museum is a model reconstruction of the old London Bridge. I really thought the whole of London Bridge burnt down in the Great Fire of London but turns out only part of it was destroyed and the rest was deconstructed in the early 1820s when the new London bridge was built.

Princess Alice. Initially I was interested in this display because of the name! However when I read more I found out that the Princess Alice collided with another ship and resulted in the death of over 650 passengers, making it the biggest loss of life of any Thames disasters.
I always forget how important the sewers of London are and how instrumental Sir Joseph Bazalgette was in basically sanitising London. I love how Parliament was disturbed in 1858 because of the smell of the Thames! You just can't imagine that now!
We were planning on having cake and coffee in the cafe at the museum, however there were just too many children screaming and running everywhere that we retreated to a nearby Paul and had a couple of naughty treats. The museum was brilliant, there is so much to see, but we definitely needed a sugar kick! If you're in London I would highly recommend this. Please do let me know of any good London history books or blogs you have read!


  1. Oh I love historical museums like this, especially ones that offer a glimpse into the local life and times of an area. It's always fun to dig around and find the history of the area in which you live.

    1. Hi Rachael, thanks for reading! I love museums too, I really need to go to more! I've just checked out your blog and I've got to say I love the layout and the 'I'm new here' bit, excellent!


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