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Shadwell is an inner-city district situated within the London Borough of Tower Hamletsmarker located on the north bank of the Thames between Wappingmarker to the south and Limehousemarker to the east. It is located east of Charing Crossmarker and forms part of the East End of Londonmarker.

History

Etymology

In the 13th century, the area was known as Scadflet and Shatfliet – derived from the Anglo-Saxon fleot, meaning a shallow creek or bay – the land was a low lying marsh, until drained (by order of Act of Parliament, after 1587) by Cornelius Vanderdelf. A spring, issuing from near the south wall of the churchyard was dedicated to St Chad, and filled a nearby well. The origin of the name is therefore confused, being associated with both the earlier use and the later well.

Origins

In the 17th century, Thomas Neale became a local landowner, and built a mill and established a waterworks on large ponds, left by the draining of the marsh. The area had been virtually uninhabited and he developed the waterfront, with houses behind as a speculation. Shadwell became a maritime hamlet with roperies, tanneries, breweries, wharves, smiths, and numerous taverns, built around the chapel of St Paul's. Seventy-five sea captains are buried in its churchyard; Captain James Cook had his son baptised there.

By the mid-eighteenth century, Shadwell Spa was established, producing sulphurous waters, in Sun Tavern fields. As well as medicinal purposes, salts were extracted from the waters; and used by local calicoprinters to fix their dyes.

The modern area is dominated by the enclosed former dock, Shadwell Basinmarker, whose construction destroyed much of the earlier settlement – by this time degenerated into slums. The basin once formed the eastern entrance to the then London Docksmarker, with a channel leading west to St Katharine Docksmarker. It is actually two dock basins - the south basin was constructed in 1828-32 and the north basin in 1854-8.

Unlike nearby Limehouse Basinmarker, few craft larger than canoes can be seen on Shadwell Basin, which is largely used for fishing and watersports - and as a scenic backdrop to the modern residential developments that line it. The basin, however, is still connected to the Thames and the channel is spanned by a bascule bridge.

In the 19th century, Shadwell was home to a large community of foreign South Asian lascar seamen, brought over from British India by the East India Company. There were also Anglo-Indians, from intermarriage and cohabitation between lascar seamen and local girls. There were also smaller communities of Chinese and Greek seamen, who also intermarried and cohabited with locals.

Parish church

St. Paul's Shadwell with St. James Ratcliffemarker, is traditionally known as the Church of Sea Captains. In 1656 the church was established as a Chapel of Ease, from St Dunstan'smarker, at Stepneymarker. In 1669, it was rebuilt as the Parish Church of Shadwell, and it was the last of five parish churches rebuilt after the Restoration. In 1820, it was again rebuilt as a 'Waterloo church'.

Captain James Cook was an active parishioner and John Wesley preached in the church from time to time. Isham Randolph, one of Thomas Jefferson's grandfathers and son of William Randolph, was married in St. Paul's church. Jefferson's boyhood home was named Shadwell after the parish.

Notable current and former residents of Shadwell

Shadwell North Basin.
(January 2006)


See also



Education

Specifically local schools include Blue Gate Fields and Bigland Green Primary schools; and Bishop Challoner secondary school.

References

Transport and locale

Nearest places


Opening in June 2010, the nearest London Overground stations are Shadwellmarker and Wappingmarker

External links




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