Pudding Mill Lane

Pudding Mill Lane, Newham

Barely 500 yards in length, Stratford’s Pudding Mill Lane should not be confused with Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London (supposedly) began

Pudding Mill Lane in 2013

The Pud­ding Mill was prop­er­ly called St Thomas’s Mill and it stood at what became the junc­tion of Marsh­gate Lane and Pud­ding Mill Lane. It prob­a­bly acquired its nick­name from its orig­i­nal shape and its last incar­na­tion was demol­ished dur­ing the first half of the 19th cen­tu­ry. The lat­er Nob­shill (or Knobs Hill) Mill sur­vived until the ear­ly 1890s.*

Pud­ding Mill Riv­er, one of the Bow back rivers, was a very minor trib­u­tary of the Riv­er Lea.

Pud­ding Mill Lane sta­tion was built for the con­ve­nience of work­ers at the util­i­ties and indus­tri­al estates that pocked Strat­ford Marsh over the course the 20th cen­tu­ry. Until 1998 there was just a pass­ing loop at this point on the Strat­ford branch of the Dock­lands Light Rail­way, which here runs along­side the main line into Liv­er­pool Street, and above the Cen­tral line.

The char­ac­ter of the lane was trans­formed when the Olympic Park was built and the lit­tle Pud­ding Mill Riv­er dis­ap­peared under the main sta­di­um. Knobs Hill was flat­tened at the same time.

Tak­en before its Olympic trans­for­ma­tion, the pho­to­graph below shows rough­ly the same part of Pud­ding Mill Lane as the one above.

Hidden London: Pudding Mill Lane before its Olympic ‘transformation’

Though one of the Olympic Park’s five neigh­bour­hoods was named Pud­ding Mill the sta­tion was closed dur­ing the games because it was too small to han­dle the poten­tial foot­fall.

A new, larg­er sta­tion opened in 2014 to take advan­tage of the area’s ‘lega­cy appeal’ – though at the moment there’s noth­ing very appeal­ing in the imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty.

In 1966 Marshgate Lane became the site of the first nuclear reactor to be built for a UK university. It was commissioned for the department of nuclear engineering at Queen Mary College and was deactivated in 1982.

Postal district: E15
Station: Docklands Light Railway, Stratford branch (zones 2 and 3)

* British His­to­ry Online pro­vides a mag­nif­i­cent­ly detailed account of the ancient mills of West Ham (repro­duced from A His­to­ry of the Coun­ty of Essex: Vol­ume 6), while often admit­ting to a degree of uncer­tain­ty and employ­ing caveats like: “It seems to have been the mill …” and: “It appears from this char­ter that …” [Hid­den Lon­don’s ital­ics].