A Walk Down Commercial Rd
As is so often the case in this country, the day following the public holiday offered better weather than any of those that preceded it. So I decided to take advantage of the sunlight to enjoy a walk down Commercial Rd with my camera. Apart from the crowds at Watney Market and those visiting the many short terraces of shops, nobody walks along the Commercial Rd much and, for most of my nearly-two-mile journey, I found myself the lone pedestrian as the traffic hurtled past.
In its name and nature, Commercial Rd was a utilitarian endeavour from the start, constructed between 1802-6 by the East India Company to bring their goods from the East & West India Docks to the City. Running in a straight line through the fields from Aldgate to Limehouse, the road was entirely lined with terraces by 1830 and many of these remain to this day as its defining characteristic, although every time I come down here more gaps appear as redevelopment fragments the remains of nineteenth century streetscape further. Yet Commercial Rd is far from featureless and, as my photos show, there is plenty to offer interest to the curious.
In 1828, the volume of traffic was such that Commercial Rd was paved over with granite and the surrounding areas upon both sides soon became a dense warren of housing and factories. By 1860, road tolls were abolished and Commercial Rd was extended to Gardiner’s Corner where it met Commercial St, cut through Spitalfields in the eighteen-fifties, delivering traffic from the docks up to the Eastern Counties Railway terminus in Shoreditch.
The Proof House
At Adler St
In Back Church Lane
Fine nineteenth century terraces
Synagogue of the Congregation of Jacob
St Mary & St Michael – Bingo Every Friday
Lea Valley Steam Laundry
A favourite Greengrocer
A favourite Fishmonger
A favourite Restaurant
At Limehouse Station
In Flamborough St
At Limehouse Basin
Our Lady & St Frederick Church
Limehouse Town Hall
St Anne’s Limehouse
Caird & Rayner
George Baker & Sons
After walking the length of Commercial Rd, a refreshment at The Star of the East is essential
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