Westferry, Tower Hamlets

A Docklands Light Railway station on the eastern edge of Limehouse

railings by Giuseppe Lund, symbolising the seasons
The gar­dens at West­fer­ry Cir­cus have rail­ings and gates by Giuseppe Lund, sym­bol­is­ing the sea­sons

West Fer­ry Road (as it was called until the 1920s) was cre­at­ed, togeth­er with its east­ern coun­ter­part, when local landown­ers and busi­ness­men estab­lished the Poplar and Green­wich Fer­ry Roads Com­pa­ny to make turn­pikes to the Green­wich fer­ry in 1812. This marked the open­ing up of the inland part of the Isle of Dogs although it was sev­er­al decades before the penin­su­la was ful­ly colonised. The com­pa­ny aban­doned its horse-fer­ry ser­vice in 1844 but con­tin­ued to levy tolls until the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Board of Works bought out the own­ers and removed the toll-gates in 1885.

West­fer­ry Road has been pro­gres­sive­ly divert­ed and extend­ed, final­ly meet­ing West India Dock Road when the Lon­don Coun­ty Coun­cil demol­ished the Rosh­er estate in 1960. This junc­tion is the site of West­fer­ry sta­tion, opened in 1987 as one of the orig­i­nal fif­teen stops on the Dock­lands Light Rail­way.

The imme­di­ate vicin­i­ty of the sta­tion (once the heart of the Chi­nese East End) remained unre­gen­er­at­ed for many years after Canary Whar­f’s tow­ers cast their long shad­ows here – and that’s still the case under the rail­way arch­es on Trinidad Street. Else­where, how­ev­er, new blocks of apart­ments, stu­dios and live/work units now min­gle with post­war coun­cil flats.

A blue plaque in Westferry Road celebrates the building in 1858 of Brunel’s Great Eastern, the largest steamship of the century.

Postal district: E14
Station: Docklands Light Railway (zone 2)