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Historical Markers and War Memorials in London Borough of Tower Hamlets, England
By Michael Herrick, April 27, 2018
A place of execution Marker
| Over 400 years, 112 people were executed on Tower Hill watched by crowds of eager spectators. The last execution was in 1747, when many spectators were injured in the crush to watch the beheading of the Scottish rebel Lord Lovat.
The . . . — — Map (db m117328) HM|
| The 13th-century palace was built along the shore of the River Thames. Henry III and, later, his son Edward I would have been able to look out of their windows and see a fine river view. Between 1275 and 1285 Edward built the outer-curtain wall, . . . — — Map (db m117422) HM|
|Borough of Bethnal Green
Alice Maud Denman
Who lost their lives in attempting
to save others
at a fire at 423 Hackney Road
on the 20th April 1902
Erected by public subscription
C.E. Fox Mayor
R. . . . — — Map (db m121667) HM|
|Site of the Worst Civilian Disaster
of the Second World War
in Memory of
173 Men, Women and Children
Who Lost Their Lives on the
Evening of Wednesday 3rd March 1943
Descending These Steps to Bethnal Green
Underground Air Raid Shelter . . . — — Map (db m121670) HM WM|
| ( inscribed around the base )
Memorial to the Civilians of East London
2nd World War 1939 - 45 — — Map (db m128427) WM|
| Introduced in 1939, the 25 Pounder was the most numerous and famous British artillery gun of the Second World War. A 25 Pounder last fired on active service with the Special Air Service at Mirbat, Oman in 1972. The example displayed here was a . . . — — Map (db m117668) HM|
| Weighing 5 ¾ tons (5842 kg), this gun was commissioned by order of St John. Its decoration includes heraldic devices, bands of cupids and vines, and St Michael overthrowing Satan. Brought from Malta to England around 1800, it was transferred from . . . — — Map (db m117699) HM|
| This is engraved with the monogram of King George III and that of Charles, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, Master General of the Ordnance 1795-1801.
British, Woolwich, dated 1798, cast by John & Henry King. Carriage later — — Map (db m168238) HM|
| This massive fortress gun is believed to have been captured by British forces from the forts guarding Canton during the Second China War (1856-61). It was brought to Britain as a trophy by HMS Nankin. It was formerly displayed at Upnor Castle, . . . — — Map (db m117424) HM|
| Cast by the founder Mohammed ibn Hamza for the Sultan Sulaiman ibn Salim Khan, this gun was intended for a Turkish expedition to India to expel the Portuguese colonists. Captured at Aden in 1839 by Captain H Smith of HMS Volage and displayed at . . . — — Map (db m117423) HM|
| These bronze muzzle-loading guns form part of the Waterloo Battery, a set of eight guns captured and brought to the Tower by the Duke of Wellington after the battle of Waterloo in 1815. They fired a solid iron cannonball propelled by the . . . — — Map (db m117667)|
| Formerly used as a bollard on Tower Hill. British, about 1800, cast by William Churchill — — Map (db m117753) HM|
|City of London
The main towers, high level walkways and the machine rooms under the southern approach of this bridge were opened to the public on 30th June 1982 by the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor Sir Christopher Leaver, G.B.E., D. Mus., . . . — — Map (db m117758) HM|
|City of London
Constructed and maintained by the Corporation of London from the Bridge House Estates Trust without charge upon Public Funds. The installation of the electrical machinery for raising the bascules replacing the original . . . — — Map (db m117759) HM|
| The Coldharbour Gate foundations and this ruined wall are all that survive of the formidable late-1230s defences built by Henry III to protect his royal palace. Coldharbour was later used as a prison, though it wasn't escape-proof. Alice . . . — — Map (db m117670) HM|
|Collapse at the Tower of London!
Between 1238-40 Henry III expanded the castle beyond the Roman city boundary, ringing it with a new wall and whitewashing the Norman tower. He also built a magnificent western entrance which unfortunately collapsed . . . — — Map (db m128431) HM|
|Corporation of London
This Plaque Records the Visit on the Centenary
Of Tower Bridge
Thursday 30th June 1994
By His Royal Highness
The Prince of Wales, K.G., K.T., G.C.B., A.K., Q.S.O.A.D.C.
In the Presence Of
The Right . . . — — Map (db m117757) HM|
1764 – 1836
English Champion who
proudly billed himself
as ‘Mendoza the Jew’,
lived here when writing
‘The Art of Boxing’. — — Map (db m121671) HM|
| By 1281 Edward I had swept aside his father Henry III's moat and entrance and replaced them with new, more sophisticated versions. He ringed Henry III's outer wall with another, making the Tower a concentric castle.
Begun in 1275, the moat . . . — — Map (db m117324) HM|
| By 1281 Edward I had completed the Tower's formidable new land entrance. Two huge stone gate towers and a semi-circular barbican (now demolished) were linked by causeways defended with drawbridges.
These massive fortifications, bristling . . . — — Map (db m117330) HM|
| This tunnel constructed by the London County Council was opened in August 1902.
Sir John MacDougall chairman of the Council; Lord Monkswell vice chairman; Henry Clarke deputy chairman; Col F. Sheffield chairman bridges comm; J. E. Sears vice . . . — — Map (db m121706) HM|
|Historic Royal Palaces
This Plaque Commemorates the Reopening of
As a Place for Public Enjoyment by
Her Majesty The Queen
9 July 2004
The Project Was Supported By
The Heritage Lottery Fund
The Pool of London Partnership . . . — — Map (db m117326) HM|
| In 1389 Geoffrey Chaucer, poet and Royal Clerk of the Works, ordered the construction of this part of the Tower Wharf. 64 years later gun foundries and workshops were added. In 1803 a factory was built here to make hand-guns for the war against . . . — — Map (db m117752) HM|
| This gun was cast by Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, Yorkshire, and it bears the monogram of King George III. For many years it was used in the Tower as a lamp post.
British, about 1800 — — Map (db m117679) HM|
| This [gun] was probably cast by in Sussex by John Fuller II or III and it bears the monogram of King George II.
British, about 1745 — — Map (db m117682) HM|
| Probably one of the large artillery pieces made in England for export to the Venetian Republic in 1684. In 1716 the Venetians used such mortars to defend the island of Corfu against Turkish attacks. The chase bears in relief the Lion of St. mark, . . . — — Map (db m117751) HM|
| Cast in one with its base, probably intended for sea service or coast defence.
Spanish or French, mid 18th century, and initialled GS. Possibly cast at the Saint Gervais foundry, France — — Map (db m117750) HM|
| These two guns were probably cast by John Fuller III at Heathfield, Sussex and proved at Woolwich in July 1747. They were part of a series of guns for the Irish Government and copied a much earlier design.
British, 1747 — — Map (db m117672) HM|
| This howitzer is mounted on its original iron garrison carriage. British about 1850, cast by Henckell & Company, Wandsworth, London — — Map (db m117695) HM|
| This gun bears the monogram of King George II. It was recovered by the divers John and Charles Anthony Dean in 1834 from the wreck of the flagship HMS Royal George, which sank at her moorings at Spithead, off Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1782. . . . — — Map (db m117675) HM WM|
| . . . — — Map (db m117681) HM|
| These two guns formed part of the armament of a French ship captured by Earl Howe’s fleet during his victory off Ushant, Holland on the ‘Glorious First of June’ 1794.
French, dated 1787 — — Map (db m117674) HM WM|
| A Crimean War trophy, captured at Sebastopol in 1855. This bears the Russian Imperial arms in relief and is mounted on a Venglov pattern 1853 carriage.
Russian, about 1840-50 — — Map (db m117696) HM WM|
| This cannon was formerly used as a bollard on Tower Wharf.
British, early 18th century — — Map (db m117694) HM|
| Formerly used as a bollard on Tower Hill, a practice that started as early as the seventeenth century.
England, about 1700, probably cast at the Ashburnham foundry, Sussex — — Map (db m117700) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m128426) HM|
For Over 200 Years
Police Have Patrolled
The River Thames
From This Site
Stepney Historical Trust 1998 — — Map (db m128422) HM|
|This Memorial Stone
was laid by
H.R.H. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. K.G.
On behalf of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
Monday June 21st. 1886.
in the 50th Year of Her Majesty’s long happy and prosperous reign.
The Right Hon. John Staples. . . . — — Map (db m117754) HM|
| Captured by the 2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers Gallipoli, 25 April 1915 — — Map (db m117701) WM|
| The sentry is part of a military guard stationed here to provide protection for the Crown Jewels. The military guard comes from an operational unit of the Armed Forces that is currently employed on ceremonial duties.
On duty today The . . . — — Map (db m117662) HM|
|To Perpetuate on this Spot
The Memory of
A Merchant of London
To Whose Genius, Perseverance and Guardian Care
The Surrounding Great Work Principally Owes
It’s Design, Accomplishment and Regulation.
The Directors and . . . — — Map (db m121703) HM|
| This plaque commemorates the departure, in December 1994, of the Royal Logistics corps. The last representative of the Military Branch of the Ordnance office, whose association with the fortress dates back to the early 15th century — — Map (db m168239) HM|
| Cannon have been fired in celebration from Tower Wharf for centuries. Henry VIII marked the coronation of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, with a cannon salute. On your right is the battery where modern guns are fired today to commemorate royal . . . — — Map (db m117358) HM|
| Bethnal Green Tube Shelter Disaster
On 3 March the air raid warning sounded at 8.17 pm. People made their way in the pitch dark of the blackout to file in an orderly manner down the steps of the single entrance to the unfinished Bethnal Green . . . — — Map (db m121668) HM WM|
|Stephen & Matilda
1878 – 2012
The first ever local authority
estate under tenants’
control in Britain
Homes for People not Profit — — Map (db m128429) HM|
| The Tower was often used as a refuge by kings in trouble and Henry III was no exception. He retreated here in 1238 and, horrified by the castle's out-of-date defences, ordered a mighty fortified gateway built.
The gateway was north of . . . — — Map (db m117323) HM|
| Conflict between a commercial need for tall buildings and the public desire to protect the Tower's views began in the 1860s. The multi-storey ‘Mazawattee’ tea warehouse was built on the edge of Tower Hill, controversially blocking the view
of the . . . — — Map (db m117329) HM|
| The curfew bell has rung from this tower for centuries; the current bell dates from 1651. The tower, and the wall next to it, were built during the reign of Richard I (1189-99) and once stood on the edge of the river. It is thought that Sir Thomas . . . — — Map (db m117420) HM|
| This area is a gateway that links the tower to the Thames waterfront on the wharf. It was a private entrance where important people and goods were brought into the Tower. Coins and bullion would also have been brought through here and into the . . . — — Map (db m117361) HM|
| Dockland Heritage
The Colour Makers
You are standing on the Wharf of what was once a colour factory, where the raw materials of chemical colours were manufactured for use in the making of paints, printing inks, plastics, rubber and paper. . . . — — Map (db m121716) HM|
| On 20 February 1547, the 9 year old son of Henry VIII rode out from the Tower in a grand procession. Cheering crowds lined the route to Westminster Abbey where he was crowned Edward VI.
Young Edward VI was following a tradition which lasted . . . — — Map (db m117331) HM|
|The Ferry House
Circa — 1722
Welcome to the oldest pub on the island plying its trade since 1722. The location is near the old ferry point across to Greenwich.
The ferry point had been around since at least 1330 known afterwards as . . . — — Map (db m121707) HM|
| Beneath your feet lie the ancient remains of Edward IV's bulwark. In 1480 he paid to construct this huge addition to the castle's defences which was designed to defend against artillery power.
In the 15th century, two rival dynasties fought . . . — — Map (db m117327) HM|
| In the 13th century, the Medieval Palace consisted of much more than the two towers you have just visited. The empty area in front of the White Tower is known as the Inmost Ward. Henry III had the White Tower whitened for the first time in 1241, . . . — — Map (db m117421) HM|
|The Norman Tower of London
Begun in 1075-9, William the Conqueror's stone tower was so impressive that the castle is still called the Tower today. He built the fortress on the river in the south east of the ancient Roman city to control Londoners . . . — — Map (db m128430) HM|
| Important visitors would have entered the castle here, at one of its three riverside entrances. Kings, queens and high ranking state visitors would have stepped off their boats and climbed the Queen's Stairs in their finery on to the wharf. . . . — — Map (db m117357) HM|
| Since the reign of King John (1199-1216) monarchs had kept exotic beasts at the Tower. However, by 1831-2 it had become impractical to keep the menagerie here and it was moved to Regent's Park to establish London Zoo.
The animals were gifts . . . — — Map (db m117332) HM|
| The Twenty Four Thousand of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets Whose Names Are Honoured on the Walls of This Garden Gave Their Lives For Their Country and Have No Grave But the Sea — — Map (db m117320) WM|
| The CWGC commemorates the dead of British and Commonwealth forces of the two World Wars at cemeteries and memorials in over 150 countries.
The Tower Hill Memorial bears the names of 12,000 First World War merchant seamen who have no known . . . — — Map (db m117321) HM|
| The Tower Hill Memorial extension bears the names of almost 24,000 men and women who died in the Second World War and have no known grave, their bodies lost or buried at sea.
During the war, the merchant Navy risked attack from submarine, air . . . — — Map (db m117322) HM|
| By the 18th century the view of the castle was very different. Towers were heightened with brick, and gun platforms were added, bristling with cannon. Rooftops of houses, storehouses and workshops peeped over the outer walls.
The Tower was . . . — — Map (db m117325) HM|
|The Tower in flames
In the early hours of 31 October 1841, the Grand Storehouse caught fire and burned to the ground. Crowds watched the flames destroy the huge 17th-century building and artists painted the spectacle.
The fire began in a gun . . . — — Map (db m128432) HM|
| William the Conqueror began the Tower of London close to the riverside, to stop invaders coming up the Thames. The foreshore was originally an open beach, but as London developed, wharves and warehouses were built to serve its growing trading . . . — — Map (db m117356) HM|
| This wharf was built in the 13th and 14th centuries to allow ships to dock next to the fortress. Where you are standing now would have been busy and bustling with people loading and unloading ships with weapons and military supplies. From the . . . — — Map (db m117359) HM|
| On 15 June 1845, the Duke of Wellington, hero of the Battle of Waterloo and Constable of the Tower, laid the foundation stone of these barracks, named after his greatest victory. Built to house up to 1,000 soldiers, the barracks were designed by . . . — — Map (db m117659) HM|
| These bronze 6-pounder guns were captured at the battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. They are individually named and were cast in various parts of Napoleon's European Empire n 1813. The Duke of Wellington, who commanded the anglo-allied army at . . . — — Map (db m117660) HM WM|
| The Roman invaders under Emperor Claudius founded London and later built a wall around the city. This is the site of one of the turrets, a small tower that marked a change in the direction of the wall. The Romans later replaced the turret with a . . . — — Map (db m117656) HM|
| William the Conqueror began building his great keep, known as the White Tower in the 1070s, and it was probably finished by his sons. They built the White Tower on this spot to frighten invaders arriving from the river and to intimidate the . . . — — Map (db m117655) HM|
|This Bridge was opened by
H.R.H., The Prince of Wales, K.G.
on behalf of
Her Majesty Queen Victoria,
on Saturday the 30th June 1894 in the presence of
H.R.H., The Princess of Wales,
H.R.H., The Duke of York, K.G.,
and other members . . . — — Map (db m117760) HM|
| West India Docks — a first for London
Opened on 27th August 1802, West India Docks were London’s first purpose-built cargo handling docks. They were the largest structure of their kind in the world at that time, placing London at the . . . — — Map (db m121701) HM|
|Of this Range of Buildings
Constructed together with the Adjacent Docks, At the Expence of public spirited Individuals, Under the Sanction of a provident Legislature, And with the liberal Co-operation of the Corporate Body of the City of London. . . . — — Map (db m130045) HM|
| From here you can see surviving parts of the 13th-century main entrance to the Tower. Built for Edward I by 1281, the Middle Tower and Byward Tower were linked by a drawbridge and causeway spanning a water-filled moat. The area below you is now . . . — — Map (db m117360) HM|
| There has been a cottage on this site for at least 200 years. Originally, it was the home of the Controller of the Tower Wharf, known as the Wharfinger.
Until the late 19th century, the Wharf was a busy dockside. Weapons, gunpowder and other . . . — — Map (db m117355) HM|
| The skeletons of two boys were found hidden under this staircase, when a building protecting the entrance to the White Tower was demolished in 1674. Many people, including Charles II believed that they were the remains of two who disappeared in . . . — — Map (db m117657) HM|
| . . . — — Map (db m128425) HM|