Howland Great Wet Docks, Rotherhithe, 1717


The Howland Great Wet Dock was the first wet dock on the south side of the Thames and only the second in London.

It was originally built as a shelter for ships waiting to unload their goods upstream at the legal quays.

Note the trees surrounding the docks which provided extra protection for the ships, and the small size of the ships and the shipyard in the foreground.

The dock was constructed at the very end of the 17th century. In the late 18th century it was renamed the Greenland Dock in recognition of the whaling trade, and was extended westward at the very end of the 19th century.

Drawn by T.Badslade and engraved by J.Kip for 'Supplement du Nouveau Theatre de la Grand Bretagne', 1728.

See historic maps of Rotherhithe