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Isle of dogs


The urbanisation of the Isle of Dogs took place in the 19th century after the construction of the docks. The island was connected to the rest of London by the London & Blackwall Railway, and in 1902 the ferry to Greenwich was replaced by a foot tunnel, and Island Gardens park was opened.

There are many different styles of property on the Isle of Dogs, somewhat at odds with Canary Wharf where residential apartment blocks are dominant. In recent years the area has witnessed its own insurgence of residential apartment blocks, including Baltimore Wharf and Baltimore Tower, whilst Bellway’s Turnberry Quay is mid-build and Telford’s Liberty Building is currently at groundworks stage.

Aside from recent developments, the Isle of Dogs is also home to some older mainly apartment-led developments such as Millennium Wharf (Millennium Drive), St David’s Square and Pier Head Lock, to name but a few.

However, it’s the diversity of property styles on the Isle of Dogs which makes it interesting. There are a few remaining Victorian terraces, such as those on East Ferry Road, which is also home to a number of former Dockers’ cottages, and more of these cottages can also be found dotted around the Island. The Isle of Dogs was once awash with warehouses, but sadly there are very few warehouse conversions, Cubitt Wharf & and Burrells Wharf are notable exceptions.

Finally, a word for the river Thames. As the river encompasses the Isle of Dogs, the area is home to a large number of apartments and houses with river views. The Thames is tidal and as such rises and falls by 5-7 metres each tide, a spectacle in its own right, but what it means for residents’ with a river-view property is a constantly changing land, or indeed, waterscape.

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Well, we love E14 at Proper Local but there is a very special place in our hearts for the Isle of Dogs. We love its diversity.

In the middle of the Island, Crossharbour is now becoming a kind of Canary Wharf-lite with the imposing and striking Baltimore Tower visible for miles around. Contrast that with Mudchute Park & Farm, just to the south of Crossharbour. Set in 32 acres of countryside, Mudchute is a community charity, with a working farm, stables, a children’s nursery and a wide range of education activities. Just past the farm is Millwall Park - football, a cricket pitch and a rugby club…. on the Isle of Dogs!

At the Island’s southerly tip is Island Gardens and the northern entrance to the Greenwich foot tunnel. Take a stroll through the tunnel and take in the Cutty Sark (ship or pub!), the market, The National Maritime Museum or the Observatory. Or, just next door to Island Gardens is the Poplar, Blackwall & District Rowing Club.

On the west of the Island you’ll find the Sir John McDougall Gardens, a tranquil place to walk the dog and take in the Thames. Or how about Tiller Leisure Centre with its swimming pool.

And to the east of the Island, Cubitt Town Library and a beach (we kid you not).

So, the Isle of Dogs, its got it all… and did we mention that the Thames is all around you!

  •         Generally speaking the area to the south of South Dock is what we all refer to as the Isle of Dogs but, in fact, there is no such part of London and the area is actually the areas of Cubitt Town and Millwall. The area was last formally referred to as the as the Isle of Dogs between 1986 and 1992.
  •         The Isle of Dogs was first mentioned in Henry III’s papers and it is thought that Edward III kept greyhounds here, hence the name.
  •         However, prior to 1800 it is just as likely that the Isle of Dogs would have been referred to as Stepney Marsh
  •         The Isle of Dogs is sometimes simply referred to as The Island. However, we can confirm that the Isle of Dogs is not the location for Channel 4’s The Island with Bear Grylls. (That was Isla Gibraleón in the Pacific Ocean)
  •          The name ‘Mudchute’, (Mudchute Park & Farm and a DLR station), derives from the period when Millwall Dock was being constructed in the 1860s. Spoil from the excavation of the Dock, and silt from its channels and waterways were dumped there using a conveyor system – The Mudchute
  •          Millwall Football Club are not based on the Isle of Dogs but they were until 1910, at Millwall Park, hence the name. Millwall FC now play at The Den in Bermondsey.
  •          In 1710 there were 4 pubs on the Isle of Dogs. When the Docks were at their busiest (and we assume the workers at their thirstiest) in the late 19th century there were 37 pubs. Today there are 11.
  •          Island Gardens park opened in 1895, but it is thought that Canaletto’s painting Greenwich Hospital from the North Bank of the Thames (1750) was painted from this location.
  •          Island Gardens is also home to the northern entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. Construction of the tunnel finished in 1902, and it was built to replace the ferry service linking the Docks with Greenwich.
  •         Regular cleaning has made the docks water more attractive to various species of freshwater and saltwater fish including flounder, plaice, bream and rudd. The docks are regularly used by aquatic birds and a seal has even been spotted in the North Dock on several occasions (and I’ve actually seen him in the Thames too).

Within the Canary Wharf Estate there aren’t currently any educational establishments, although at first glance you would assume that Canary Wharf College is. However, this college is certainly nearby at East Ferry Road and caters for pre-school, through primary and secondary to 18 years old for ‘A’ Levels.

Other schools near Canary Wharf include St Luke’s, Arnhem Wharf, Seven Mills, Harbinger, Cubitt Town, Cryril Jackson and Mayflower for primary level education.

Whilst secondary schools in the Canary Wharf area include George Green’s School on the Isle of Dogs. Slightly further away, towards the City, are Wapping High School, Sir John Cass, Morpeth and Bishop Challenor.

A full list of schools can be found on the Tower Hamlets website.

There are a number of pre-school nurseries and crèches in E14, including Little Unicorn at both Westferry Circus and Canada Place in Canary Wharf itself, Montessori at Crossharbour and Mudchute Nursery on the Isle of Dogs.


So, Proper Local is now up and running and we'd be delighted to let your property in E14.

As we come into September - traditionally the busiest month of the year for lettings - its fair to say that tenants do have a fair amount of property to choose from in Canary Wharf, and the surrounding areas.

With the recent completions in London City Island, Talisman Tower, Duckman Tower, Charrington Tower and most recently Horizons Tower, it is fair to say that this additional stock has had an impact on achievable rental prices in E14. But perhaps more importantly, because tenants have more to choose from, its the increased amount of time it can take to rent a property which is more important. And for me its always been the case that WHEN is more important than HOW MUCH (within reason of course!)

I would suggest that rental prices have eased by around 5% in the area over the last 12 months, but void periods between tenancies are longer than we have traditionally experienced.

This isn't to say that the rental market in E14 is weak, far from it, but the area is 'victim' to a large number of developments completing within a very short timeframe.

What will always remain true is this: accurately priced, well presented and marketed properties will always rent. And Proper Local can do this for you.

For all Landlords who instruct us before Friday 16th September we are offering 50% off our already competitive fees.

Do get in touch to find out more (and watch out for our advertisements in The Wharf and Canary Wharf magazine this week.)




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