infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
london_borough= Tower Hamlets
constituency_westminster= Poplar and Canning Town
Limehouse is a place in the
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thamesopposite Rotherhitheand between Ratcliffto the west and Millwallto the east.
Geographically, Limehouse is commonly thought by newcomers to be centred on
Narrow Streetand the Limehouse Basin, whereas it is actually centred co-incidently on Limehouse Town Hallin Commercial Road. It stretches from Limehouse Basin in the West to the edge of the former Chinatown in Pennyfields in the East; and from the River in the South to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Benjonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the North.
The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a lengthy section of the Thames which actually runs all the way from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to
The name relates to the local
lime kilns located by the river and operated by the large potteries that served shipping in the London docks [The name 'Limehouse' is sometimes mistakenly thought to be derived from the nickname for the seamen that disembarked there, who had earned the name " Lime-juicers" or "limeys" after the obligatory ration of lime juice the Royal Navygave their sailors to ward off scurvy.] . The earliest reference to "Les Lymhostes" occurs in 1356 ["Folios cxci - cc: Dec 1416 - ', Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: I: 1400-1422 (1909), pp. 175-86" A later reference from 1417 is reproduced verbatim:
"Inquisicio capta sup' litus Thomisie apud Lymhosteys pro morte Thome Frank". "17 Aug, 5 Henry V. [A.D. 1417] , inquest held before "les Lymehostes" within the liberty and franchise of the City, before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, and the King's Escheator, as to the cause of the death of Thomas Franke, of Herewich, late steersman (conductor) or "lodysman" of a ship called "la Mary Knyght" of Danzsk in Prussia A jury sworn, viz., John Baille, Matthew Holme, Robert Marle, Henry Mark, Alexander Bryan, John Goby, Richard Hervy, Walter Steel, Peter West, Richard Stowell, John Dyse, and Walter Broun. They find that the said Thomas Franke was killed by falling on the sharp end of an anchor"]
From its foundation, Limehouse, like neighbouring
Wapping, has enjoyed better links with the river than the land, the land route being across a marsh. Limehouse became a significant portin late medieval times, with extensive docks and wharves. Although most cargoes were discharged in the Pool of Londonbefore the establishment of the docks, industries such as ship building, ship chandlering and ropemaking were established in Limehouse.
Limehouse Basin opened in 1820 as the "Regent's Canal Dock". This was an important connection between the
Thamesand the canal system, where cargoes could be transferred from larger ships to the shallow-draught canal boats. This mix of vessels can still be seen in the basin, canal narrow boats rubbing shoulders with sea-going yachts [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.80/Regents-Canal-Dock.html Regent's Canal Dock (1812–1970s)] accessed 10 May 2007] .
The dock basin with its
marinaremains a working facility. The same is not true of those wharfbuildings that have survived, most of which are now highly desirable residential properties.
Tudor era, until the 20th century, ships crew were employed on a casual basis. New and replacement crew would be found wherever they were available, local sailors being particularly prized for their knowledge of currents and hazards in foreign ports. Crews would be paid off at the end of their voyage. Inevitably, permanent communities became established, including colonies of Lascars and Africansfrom the Guinea Coast. Large Chinatowns at both in Limehouse and Shadwelldeveloped, associated with the crews of merchantmen in the opium and teatrades, particularly for Han Chinese. The area achieved notoriety for opiumdens in the late 19th century, often featured in pulp fiction works by Sax Rohmerand others. Like much of the East End it remained a focus for immigration, but after the devastation of the Second World Warmany of the Chinese community relocated to Soho [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.127/chapterId/2614/Chinese-in-the-Port-of-London.html Port Cities: London's First Chinatown] accessed 29 May 2007] [ [http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.96/chapterId/2682/The-port-in-literature.html 'Chinatown' literature] accessed 10 May 2007] . On 12 February 1832, the first case of cholerawas reported in London at Limehouse. First described in India in 1817, it had spread here via Hamburg. Although 800 people died during this epidemic, fewer than had died of tuberculosis in the same year, cholera visited again in 1848 and 1858 [ [http://www.mernick.co.uk/thhol/1832chol.html "The 1832 cholera epidemic in East London" East London Record, 2 (1979)] accessed 5 Jul 2007] .
ignificant events in politics
On 30 July, 1909 the
Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd Georgemade a polemical speech in Limehouse attacking the House of Lordsfor its opposition to his " People's Budget". This speech was the origin of the phrase "To Limehouse", or "Limehousing", which meant an incendiary political speech. [ [http://www.takeourword.com/Issue070.html "Take our word for it" 24 Jan 2000] accessed 10 May 2007]
January 25, 1981MPs Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins, William Rodgers and David Owenmade the Limehouse Declarationfrom Owen's house in Limehouse, which announced the formation of the Council for Social Democracy in opposition to the granting of block votes to the trade unionsin the Labour Party to which they had previously belonged. They soon became leading politicians in the Social Democratic Party.
The area inspired
Douglas Furber(lyricist) and Phillip Braham(composer) in 1921to write the popular jazzstandard "Limehouse Blues" [ [http://www.kendormusic.com/2005/3263.htm "Limehouse Blues" sheet music and sample files] accessed 10 May 2007] , which was introduced by Jack Buchananand Gertrude Lawrencein the musical revue "A to Z". Much later, it was reprised in the ballet "Limehouse Blues" featuring Fred Astaireand Lucille Bremerin the musical film "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946). In both instances the actors were heavily disguised as Chinese. "Limehouse Blues" was also the name of a 1934 film, starring George Raft[imdb title|id=0025399|title=Limehouse Blues] .Thomas Burke wrote Limehouse Nights (1916), a collection of stories centered around life in the poverty-stricken Limehouse district of London. Many of Burke's books feature the Chinese character Quong Lee as narrator. The area also features in the " Fu Manchu" books of Sax Rohmer, where a Limehouse opium denserves as the hideout of the Chinese supervillain. The notion of East Endopium dens seems to have originated with a description by Charles Dickensof a visit he made to an opium den in nearby Bluegate Fieldsinspired certain scenes in his last, unfinished, novel " The Mystery of Edwin Drood" (1870). [Peter Ackroyd (1990) "Dickens": 1046] [ [http://www.mernick.co.uk/thhol/curiousburial.html "A Curious Burial"] 11 January 1890"East London Observer" – an account of the burial of Ah Sing, said to be the inspiration for the character of the opium seller. Accessed 22 July 2008]
Other notable performances on film include those by
Hoagy Carmichaelin " To Have and Have Not" (1946) and by Borrah Minevichand His Harmonica Rascals in "One in a Million" (1936). The area also appeared in Anna Mae Wong's 1929 film "Piccadilly", where as the toughly alluring Shosho, Ms. Wong was said to embody the Limehouse Chinatown mystique.
Humphrey Gilbertlived here, [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sir_Humphrey_Gilbert 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica "Sir Humphrey Gilbert"] accessed 10 May 2007] and was an advocate of opening up the Northwest Passage. This inspired Martin Frobisherto sail to Baffin Island,and he returned with a mysterious black rock. [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sir_Martin_Frobisher 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica "Sir Martin Frobisher'] accessed 10 May 2007] Gilbert set up the Society of the New Artwith Lord Burghley and the Earl of Leicesterwho had their alchemical laboratory in Limehouse. [" Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Elizabeth I, Vol. VI, 1572-1575" Joel Hurstfield "The English Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 358 (Jan., 1976), pp. 127-129"] However their attempts to transmute the black rock into goldproved fruitless. (Humphrey's brother Adrian Gilbert was reputed a great alchemist and worked closely with John Dee.) Fact|date=March 2007
Christopher Newportlived in Limehouse for several years up until 1595 [K.R. Andrews, "Christopher Newport of Limehouse, Mariner," William and Mary Quarterly 3d ser., 11, no. 1(January 1954):28.] . He rose through the sailing ranks from a poor cabin boyto a wealthy English privateerand eventually one of the Masters of the Royal Navy. He became rich pirating Spanish treasure vessels in the West Indies. In 1607 he sailed the Susan Constant, followed by the Godspeed and Discovery, as Admiral of the Fleetto Jamestown. He helped secure England's foothold in North America through five voyages to Jamestown. He sailed his entire life, dying on a trading voyage to Bantam, on the island of Javain present day Indonesia. His sailing experience in Limehouse made him known as Captain Christopher Newport, of Limehouse, Mariner. Charles Dickens’ godfatherran his sailmaking business from Church Row (Newell Street); [ [http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/dickens.htm East London history] accessed 28 Mar 2007] and James McNeill Whistler[ [http://www.davidrumsey.com/amico/amico1093308-4593.html Whistler "Limehouse" 1878] accessed 28 Mar 2007] and Charles Napier Hemy["The Barge Builders" in "The Burlington Magazine", Vol. 126, No. 981 (Dec., 1984), p. 786+804] sketched and painted at locations on Narrow Street's river waterfront. Contemporary residents include the actor Sir Ian McKellen[ [http://www.mckellen.com/life/per.htm Ian McKellen Personal Website] ] , Matthew Parris, and comedy actress Cleo Rocos, [ [http://icthewharf.icnetwork.co.uk/thewharf/headlines/tm_headline=new-forum-fighting-for-a-limehouse-focus&method=full&objectid=18492430&siteid=71670-name_page.html The Wharf] ] actor Steven Berkoff[ [http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2124821.ece "Steven Berkoff: The real East Enders" The Independent04 Jan 2007] accessed 10 May 2007] , comedian Lee Hurst Fact|date=March 2007, as well as politician Lord David Owen. [ [http://sca.lib.liv.ac.uk/collections/Owen/biog.htm David Owen biography] accessed 28 Mar 2007] Limehouse was also the home of the late film director Sir David Lean. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19971025/ai_n14142206 The Independent] ]
St Anne's Limehousewas built by Nicholas Hawksmoor. A pyramid originally planned to be put atop the tower now stands in the graveyard. The church is next door to Limehouse Town Halland close to Limehouse Library, both Grade II listed buildings, the former now used as a community centre. Across the road is the Sailors' Mission, where Situationist Internationalheld its conference in 1960. The building subsequently became a run-down hostel for the homeless which became notorious for its squalor, although it has since been converted into a luxury apartment block.
Further to the southwest,
Narrow Street, Limehouse's historic spine, which runs along the back of the Thames wharves, boasts one of the few surviving early Georgian terraces in London. Next to the terrace is the historic Grapes pub, rebuilt in 1720 and well-known to Charles Dickens, featuring as the "Six Jolly Fellowships" in " Our Mutual Friend". Almost every building on the other side of Narrow Street was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War, including hundreds of houses, the Barley Mow Brewery and a school. One notable exception is a former public House, known locally as 'The House They Left Behind', because it was the only Victorian Terrace to survive. It still stands today, with the aid of three large supporting pillars.
Further along the street is 'The Narrow', a
gastropubrun by Gordon Ramsay. It is housed in the Grade II listed, former dockmaster's house and office, for Limehouse Dock.
Stepney Historical Trust
:"For details of education in Limehouse see the
List of schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets"
Isle of Dogs
River boat service piers
Canary Wharf Pier"Narrow Street forms a part of the north bank of the Thames Path, the walk is between tall former warehouses and modern flats. Many were built with planning covenants granting river access, but these are now often barred to the public. Vehicular access is limited, as the area is cut off by the entrance to the Limehouse tunnel and parking is strictly controlled, however this makes the area reasonably quiet for cyclists. Public access to the foreshore is prohibited, apparently part of the security arrangements for former Foreign Secretary, David Owen."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Limehouse — Sede del gobierno de Limehouse … Wikipedia Español
Limehouse — (spr. Leimhaus), Kirchspiel in der englischen Grafschaft Middlesex, dicht bei London; Schiffswerfte; 13,000 Ew … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Limehouse — (spr. laim haus), Stadtteil im Osten Londons, zum Verwaltungsbezirk Stepney gehörig, am linken Themseufer, oberhalb der West India Docks, mit (1901) 55,981 Einw … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Limehouse — (spr. leimhaus), Stadtteil Londons, am l. Ufer der Themse, (1901) 32.358 E … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Limehouse — [līm′hous΄] district in the E London borough of Tower Hamlets, on the Thames: former Chinese quarter … English World dictionary
Limehouse — /luym hows /, n. a dock district in the East End of London, England, once notorious for its squalor: formerly a Chinese quarter. * * * ▪ neighbourhood, Tower Hamlets, London, United Kingdom neighbourhood in the borough of Tower Hamlets in… … Universalium
Limehouse — London Borough of Tower Hamlets Lage in Greater London Status London Borough Region … Deutsch Wikipedia
Limehouse — geographical name district E London, England, in Tower Hamlets on N bank of Thames River … New Collegiate Dictionary
Limehouse — 1. noun A district of north London, now part of 2. verb To make a fiery, political speech … Wiktionary
Limehouse — Lime•house [[t]ˈlaɪmˌhaʊs[/t]] n. geg a dock district in the East End of London, England, once notorious for its squalor: formerly a Chinese quarter … From formal English to slang