All Saints

All Saints, Tower Hamlets

Poplar’s parish church and the Docklands Light Railway station named after it are both situated on the south side of East India Dock Road

All Saints Poplar
All Saints church, Poplar

The first religious insti­tu­tion in the district was Poplar Chapel, built by the East India Company as a chapelry of Stepney. In 1817 Poplar became a parish, with All Saints conse­crated as its parish church in 1823. It was one of very few works by the architect Charles Hollis, who won the vestry committee’s design compe­ti­tion under the pseudonym ‘Felix’. The conceal­ment of his identity did not prevent accu­sa­tions of favouritism as he had previ­ously been a clerk to a prominent parish­ioner, and the West India Dock Company complained, in vain, to the bishop. Built in Greek style from Portland stone, the church stands on Bazely Street, orig­i­nally Bow Lane. Hollis was also respon­sible for the rectory.

All Saints’ church­yard was closed for burials in 1862 and was then progres­sively opened up to the public as a recre­ation ground and gardens. Imme­di­ately after the construc­tion of the church, quality housing began to appear around it, prompted by the growth of London’s docks and the creation of the East India Dock Road.

Although a few 19th-century houses survive, many others were damaged by bombing during the Second World War and demol­ished after­wards. The council tower blocks that replaced them in the 1950s and 1960s dominate much of the area.

All Saints DLR station occupies the site of the North London Railway’s Poplar station, which operated from 1866 to 1945.

Postal district: E14
Station: DLR, Stratford branch (zone 2)