A rebuilt urban hamlet located north of the eastern end of the Royal Albert Dock, off Woolwich Manor Way
Cyprus’s name dates from 1878, when Britain leased the Mediterranean island from Turkey. Also known as New Beckton, this tiny settlement with its shops and services was a ‘self-supporting community’, entirely owned by the Port of London Authority, providing homes for workers at Beckton gasworks and the Royal Docks. Unlike the earlier workers’ housing in ‘old’ Beckton, construction standards here were not high and the absence of mains drainage contributed to the poor health of the residents.
Council houses were built on Savage Gardens shortly before the First World War. Much of the Victorian township was destroyed by Second World War bombing and the council erected prefabricated houses in the neighbourhood after hostilities ended.
Following the relocation of some existing noxious industrial plants in the 1970s, Cyprus became the site of the London Docklands Development Corporation’s first sponsored housing project, with homes built by Barratt, Wimpey, Broseley and Comben.
The rapid sale of the properties prompted the LDDC to release further land for residential building and drew more developers to Docklands.
Cyprus DLR station opened in 1994 on the newly built branch line to Beckton.
South of the Docklands Light Railway station, the former quayside of the Royal Albert Dock has been transformed into the University of East London’s Docklands campus. Opened in 2000, this was the capital’s first totally new university campus in 50 years, and its most distinctive feature is a waterside row of drum-shaped halls of residence. A second, less architecturally distinctive phase of construction was completed in 2007.
SportsDock, the university’s multi-purpose sports and fitness facility, opened in 2012. Built at a cost of £21 million, the amenity is open to all (but charges apply) and it claims to “cater for everything from archery to Zumba.”
The former Ferndale public house, at the corner of Cyprus Place and Ferndale Street, is the only remaining Victorian structure in Cyprus. Newham council approved the disused pub’s conversion to flats in 2009, imposing various conditions that would conserve the character of this locally listed building. As sometimes happens, the developers overlooked several of the stipulations – and then sought retrospective approval for the finished job. A compromise agreement was reached in 2013, under which certain features would be reinstated – but the stately old boozer will never regain its former appearance.