The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.512054, -0.038946

4 Annotations

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Ratcliffe, a manor and hamlet in the parish of Stepney, between Shadwell and Limehouse.

Radcliffe itself hath also been encreased in building eastward (in place where I have known a large highway with fair elm trees on both the sides), that the same hath now taken hold of Limehurst or Lime host, corruptly called Lime house, some time distant a mile from Radcliffe. . . . The first building at Radcliffe in my youth (not to be forgotten) was a fair free-school and alms-houses, founded by Avice Gibson, wife to Nicholas Gibson, grocer; but of late years shipwrights and (for the most part) other marine men, have built many large and strong houses for themselves, and smaller for sailors, from thence almost to Poplar, and so to Blackwall.—Stow (1603), p. 157.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"Redclif, Ratcliff, Ratcliffe: it’s not just the spelling of London’s first port that is hard to pin down. Before the great, enclosed docks of the 19th century were hollowed out of Limehouse, Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs, ships docked at Thameside wharves.

"The most sheltered place on the river was in the crook of the bend at Limehouse, at a place called Radcliffe or Sailor Town. Ratcliffe was one of the original Tower Hamlets, named after a lost cliff of red earth, shovelled away as ballast for the great ships that left its quays. These were London’s earliest docks, where Tudor expeditions led by adventurers like Sir Hugh Willoughby set sail for the Arctic.

"The 19th century saw Ratcliffe eclipsed by its neighbours, and although it is marked on maps few know of its existence."…

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