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Paul Anthony Gardner’s East End

February 11, 2019
by the gentle author

Over the last quarter century, Photographer Paul Anthony Gardner (not the famous paper bag seller of the same name) has been recording the diverse architectural heritage of the East End. In the intervening years, some buildings have been cherished while others have been neglected and too many have been destroyed, but thanks to Paul we have these atmospheric photographs as evidence.

Timber Merchant, Whitechapel, 1998

Path under Railway Bridge, Limehouse 2008

Christ Church, Spitalfields 1996

Former Dispensary, Stratford 2009

Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Stratford 1997

East India Dock Rd, Limehouse 2008

German Lutheran Church, Alie St, Aldgate 1996

Baptist Chapel, Grove Rd, Bow 1997

House Mill, Three Mills Island, Bromley by Bow 1997

Lift Bridge, Shadwell Basin 2000

Princelet St Synagogue, Spitalfields 1996

Warehouses at the Bishopsgate Goodsyard, 1999

Council Chamber, Shoreditch Town Hall 1998

Puma Court, Spitalfields 1998

St Botolph’s Hall, Aldgate, 1996

Shoreditch Town Hall, 1996

Princelet St Synagogue, Spitalfields 1996

London Tramways Shed, Shoreditch 1998

Trinity Green Almshouses, Whitechapel, 1998

Hydraulic Pumping Station, Wapping, 1996

Undertakers. Limehouse, 2007

Wilton’s Music Hall, Cable St, 1996

Photographs copyright © Paul Anthony Gardner

You may also like to take a look at

John Claridge’s East End

24 Responses leave one →
  1. February 11, 2019

    Fabulous photos. Valerie

  2. Jamie S permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Absolutely enchanting photography – thanks to the TGA for publishing

  3. Jill Wilson permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Great photos!

    And interesting how many arches and arched windows there are in the old buildings. One of my beefs against today’s bland ‘spreadsheet architecture’ is that the arch form seems to have been forgotten – probably because so much of the so called architecture is designed on computer rather than drawn by hand.

    Ditto interesting detailing… I can imagine that if you were taking time to draw a building by hand the subtle details, curves and twiddles would come naturally, whereas on a computer it is all too easy to just press the repeat straight line button!

  4. DAVID LAWSON permalink
    February 11, 2019

    These are wonderfully evocative and I cannot be the only person who remembers some of these places – Any chance of a book?

  5. Helen Breen permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, what great photos. Such stark beauty. Particularly liked Abbey Mills Pumping Station, Stratford 1997 …

  6. February 11, 2019

    “Warehouses at the Bishopsgate Goodyard” is splendid.

  7. Philip Marriage permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Fabulous! More please . . .

  8. Richard Smith permalink
    February 11, 2019

    A wonderful series of photographs GA! So evocative and full of atmosphere! Thank you.

  9. February 11, 2019

    At the risk of stating the completely obvious, these photographs are marvellous! Such beauty in decay, and both saddening to realise how much is lost, and heartening to know what has been stabilised and preserved, albeit at the cost of endless vigilance and hard work by so many dedicated people. Given the current controversies, Trinity Almshouse is especially fascinating.

  10. Pauline Taylor permalink
    February 11, 2019

    I agree with all the previous comments and how fortunate we are that people took the trouble to record these scenes and that the GA allows us to see them. Thank you GA.

    I particularly like the way these photos capture the atmosphere of the subjects, the interplay of light and shade, the ornamentation, now so sadly a lost art on modern architecture, but also the stark reality of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard which somehow has a quality which I, as a country girl, associate with visits to London, as a child, when the approach to Liverpool St station felt as if one was being transported to a completely different world. Very exciting of course but also with an element of fear as it was all so strange. No doubt children from the East End would have felt the same when confronted with my countryside full of hedges and fields, and cows and horses, with not another house or person in sight!

  11. February 11, 2019

    Beautiful photos that capture a period of transition. I love the path under the railway bridge in Limehouse. If you look closely you can almost see the spiritual presence of those past wayfarers , who were caught short on their way home from the local pub !
    Thank you both for your work in bringing these images to us.

  12. February 11, 2019

    I was hooked, at the very first/top photo. My eye loves a full-frontal image, for some reason — whether it is a portrait or structure. This frontal view of the old “timberhouse” included so many grace notes. The half-round window, the lettering, the corbels, the mix of brick/wood/glass, etc.
    If I had been lucky enough to pass by, I know I would have stopped for quite a long time and observed all the symmetrical details. Fortunately for us, Mr. Gardner has preserved the moment.

    This a magnificent series. More please!

  13. February 11, 2019

    The fellow’s a proper photographer. Lovely work.

  14. Pritam Singh permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Absolutely splendid photographs, certainly beyond mere documentary. Thank you for bringing them out to us and congratulations to the photographer.

  15. Kim permalink
    February 11, 2019

    The London Tramways shed Shoreditch was an electrical sub-station for the LCC Tramways. Designed in the mid-1900s by architect E Vincent Harris, who was also responsible for Bow tram depot (now Bow bus garage), and who only died in 1971.

  16. Mary permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Another gem G.A! Superb images.

  17. Jennifer Newbold permalink
    February 11, 2019

    I’ve always loved the 18th century sailing ships on the Trinity Green Almshouses from afar (that is, Massachusetts). I hope they are still there!

  18. February 11, 2019

    Thank you GA for sharing these atmospheric and beautiful photographs, many of those places are familiar sights to me.
    I drive past the Baptist Chapel in Grove Road regularly and it looks in better shape now. However, some of the houses in East India Dock Road haven’t changed much since Paul’s visit.
    The stories those images could tell……..

  19. Steve permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Wow – can’t believe the first picture (J.J. & S.W. Chalk) is where my granddad started working in 1912. I still have the letter offering him the job. He worked there full time until 1962 and then on and off until the early 70s. He started as a clerk aged 16/17 and retired as the manager.

  20. Derek Bailey permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Greetings from Colorado: Great photos indeed. I lived in Wapping and walked across the Lift Bridge, Shadwell Basin going to and from Raines Grammar School twice daily in the late 1940’s. The bridge was featured in a sequence from a 1955 movie called “Prize of Gold” with Richard Widmark and Mai Zetterling.

  21. Susan permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Look at those gorgeous pews in the Lutheran church. Reminds me a bit of the boxed pews in Holy Trinity Church, York.

  22. Chris Connor permalink
    February 11, 2019

    Great photos, very evocative. Maybe because they are in black & white it adds to the atmosphere. Like them very much.

  23. Mike Zihni permalink
    April 16, 2019

    The WS Chalk building was actually on Pancras Road in Kings Cross. Was destroyed in 2003 to build the terminal for the eurostar. It stood in front of the German Gymnasium.

  24. Anne Elizabeth permalink
    April 25, 2022

    I love these pictures! How can I come in contact with the photographer?

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