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Digital Gallery Images

The Gallery includes images of the borough's streets and buildings and portraits of people and communities. The Digital Gallery images are displayed as thumbnails. Full size images can be viewed by clicking on a thumbnail.

How do I obtain a copy of an image?

Photographic copies can be obtained from Tower Hamlets Local Studies and Archives (there is a charge for this service) or a maximum of 5 digital copies can be emailed to you. If you would like to use the images for publication or display please contact us at


Greenwich 1890s

Image Number:





Island History Trust Image Collection


A ferry leaving Greenwich for the Isle of Dogs. A ferry service between Millwall and Greenwich operated for at least four hundred years, first of all from Potter's Ferry slipway, close by the present Ferry House pub. A number of Greenwich watermen had the exclusive right to operate this ferry. In 1812 a new ferry company was set up with the right to carry goods, animals and vehicles, while Greenwich watermen kept their privilege to carry foot passengers. This monopoly was challenged many times in the 19th century, particularly by William Cubitt, who wanted to operate his own service across the river for his workmen. From the time North Greenwich Station was opened (near the Rowing Club) the railway operated the ferry services across the river and passengers could buy through tickets from Poplar to Greenwich. The number of people needing to cross at this point was increasing all the time, but they were constantly being held up by bad weather or shipping on the river. Blackwall Tunnel was opened in 1897 to handle vehicle traffic and in 1902 the foot-tunnel from Island Gardens was opened for pedestrians, thus doing away with the need for for a ferry boat of any kind. Some Islanders remember the ferry to Dartford - for a penny or a ha' penny you could be rowed across the river from the end of Deptford Ferry Road, behind the Vulcan pub - this was in the 1900s.