"the docks, near Wapping"
The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Prospect of Whitby, Wapping - Credit: Fin Fahey

Wapping takes it name from the Saxon tribes which settled there - Wæppa's people. Developing along a narrow stretch of the Thames embankment, it was populated with sailors, boat-builders, dock-workers and many more who supported the seafaring trade, giving it a strong maritime character. Wapping was also the site of Execution Dock, where pirates and maritime criminals were hanged as late as 1830. In the 19th century, however, the population dropped by a drastic 60% as the nearby London Docks were developed and many houses destroyed or abandoned. The area became isolated from London and suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second World War; however, from the 1970s it became the subject of a regeneration programme and is now part of London’s lively Docklands area. Famous landmarks include the Wapping Stairs and the Prospect of Whitby, thought to be London’s oldest riverside pub.