The first canal scheme in London: The Limehouse Cut was the first navigable artifical waterway (the much earlier New River was built as a water supply aqueduct and not intended for navigation.) The Limehouse Cut changed in two ways - its link to the Thames and its level, were changed when the old lock with its unusual supporting trusses were done away with and a new cut made into the Regents Canal's Limehouse Basin.
Plaque at the old Limehouse Cut entrance
By the Thames the entrance to the old Limehouse lock is still discernible. There are mooring bollards of various kinds that serve as a reminder of this inlet's previous function
The site of the old Limehouse Lock looking towards the Narrow Street bridge, which still exists. On the right are the former lock houses
A view of the old Limehouse lock from Northey Street.
This is a clip from the film 'Together' made in 1954 about the trials and tribulations of two deaf London dockland residents. Its an excellent view of the lock's setting. The wooden structure over the lock chamber is clearly seen - the building on the other side of Narrow Street still exists. It doesnt look as if there is an exit from the lock area but the canal actually takes a sharp bend immediately to the left of the picture and passes under Northey Street. The steel sides of the Narrow Street bridge are recognisable in both old and modern views. Another clue to the location is the building at the far end with five windows on its upper floors.
The old Limehouse cut left the lock where the next bridge (in Northey Street) is and after a short bend it went on to meet the current alingment
The Northey Street bridge.
The point where the old Limehouse lock cut joined it's original waterway. The section in the background is the new cut to Limehouse basin.
The modern footbridge over the new entrance to the Limehouse Cut
This view from the adjacent footbridge shows the edging of the old cut (where the blue fencing is) as it went straight on towards the old lock. The flats in the picture blocks the view from here to Northey Street bridge
Heading out of Limehouse towards the Docklands Railway viaduct
These new flats were constructed in 2001 and the Docklands Light Railway opened in 1987, 19 years after the old lock closed.
An old BW map of the Limehouse Cut.
As the map shows, the Limehouse Cut runs straight as an arrow from Commercial Road to Bow Locks and it is this section we will explore next But before that, for more information on the Old cut and its lock, go to: Eastendtalking and London Thames Gateway Forum Especially with the LTGF pages, look at photograph numer six, and you will see the same bollard as in my picture of the former entrance to the lock. Also in other pictures on both sites the lock houses are easily seen
NEXT: Limehouse Cut Part Two
The Lee Navigation pages:Bow - Old Ford / to Springfield / Tottenham - Picketts lock / to Brimsdown / Brimsdown - Enfield / to Kings Weir / Broxbourne - Rye House / to Ware / Ware - Hertford
Around Little Venice & Paddington: History and transport systems / Canute's 'Canal': The mythological waterway that wasnt / Congreve's Hydro-pneumatic lock: A water-saving device that didnt work! / Croydon Canal: London's shortest-lived waterway, closing completely by 1837 / Cumberland Arm: A branch off the Regents Canal to Euston / Fleet River & Canal: The former Thames - Kings Cross waterway / Grand Surrey: The canal with an ambition to reach Portsmouth! / Grosvenor Canal: The Grosvenor linked Victoria to the Thames / Hertford Union Canal: A short cut with a nice flight of locks between the Regents Canal and the Lee Navigation alongside Victoria Park / Isle of Dogs (City) Canal: The Isle of dogs canal, where Canary Wharf now stands / Kensington Canal: The canal that became a railway and an underground route / Limehouse Cut & the Lee Navigation: The 28 mile route from London to Hertford / London's Canal Tunnels: There are three canal tunnels in London / McMurray's Canal: Wandsworths long forgotten waterway / Paddington Arm: The Grand Junction/Grand Union from Bulls Bridge to London / Pudding Mill River: Requiem for London's lost waterway / Regents Canal: This runs between Little Venice, Camden Town & Limehouse / Romford Canal: The penultimate, yet unfinished, canal to be built in London / Ruislip Feeder: The former waterway that fed the canal / Surrey Iron Railway: The route of the world's first public railway / Woolwich's secret waterway: The Royal Arsenal Canal
London Canals Outside: 1) Wendover Arm 2) Slough Arm 3) River Chess/Salter's Cut
Attractions near the London canals: Abbey Road / Bayswater / Crockers Folly / Derry and Toms / Edgware Road / Marylebone Goods / Metesco / Nash Villas / Spitfire Works / St Pancras