While some people avoid ports and harbours as a place to stay, when you are here some of the most exclusive London apartments are found in the docklands. The Docklands are situated in the east of London and include a mixture of small towns and boroughs such as Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Greenwich and Newham. The existing port has been considered to be one of the largest in the world. With the ever-changing landscape of London, the Docklands are also being transformed into a residential and commercial area. The name Docklands was first used when the government plans were being finalised in 1971 and subsequently Londoners have taken up the name in their daily use.
The Dockland area is spread along the river Thames and includes a number of dockyard complexes namely, Surrey Commercial Docks, Regent’s Canal Dock, St Katherine Docks, East India Docks, Mill Wall Docks, Royal Docks and London Docks. These docks are used for shipping goods and services. The history of the Dockyards began during the Roman period with ships arriving at the quays. In that time a lot of trouble was experienced with local residents and thieves as well as congestion with the excessive number of ships landing at the pier.
Fast forward to 1696 when the Howland Great Dock was erected to increase the limited space and provide security against the thieves. The area was then further developed by various rulers and it was known as the Dockyard. There are three types of docks which include Wet Docks, Dry Docks and Dockyards. Unloading and Loading of ships took place at the Wet Docks, Dry Docks were used for repairing ships and Dockyards were where the ships were built.
These docks have also been referred to by great authors and in movies as well. Charles Dickens refers to the riverside and docklands in his novels. Joseph Conrad also describes the docks, its buildings and people in his book. Phillip Pullman has also referenced the docklands in his novel The Ruby in the Smoke. The docklands have also found their way into the movies and were featured in the movie 28 Weeks Later by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.