The Surrey docks

Plan of Surrey Commercial Docks, 1968.

British Isles London
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Cook & Hammond
  • Publication date: 1968.
  • Physical description: Lithographed map, extensively annotated in red and pink ink, dissected and mounted on linen, folding into original blue covers, title and "Estate Officer" in silver.
  • Dimensions: 534 by 404mm. (21 by 16 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 13923


There were docks on the site of the Surrey Commercial Docks for over three centuries. It was particularly popular in the eighteenth century for traders from the Arctic and Eastern Europe, reflected in the names of some of the docks: Greenland Dock, Norway Dock, and Russia Dock. A combination of serious damage from bombing during the Second World War and a move to container shipping forced the docks to close in 1969. The area has now been redeveloped and is known as Surrey Quays.

This copy was owned by the Estate Officer for the docks, and is extensively annotated, with red and pink lines denoting docks that had been filled in or land sold, along with the dates.

The Port of London Authority was formed in 1909. It was prompted by a series of industrial actions by dock workers, including their demand for the ‘Docker’s Tanner’, a wage of 6d. an hour, in 1889. The Port was a vital part of the British economy: refining and processing industries grew up around goods brought in to the docks and it was the centre of British shipbuilding and repair. The PLA continues to supervise and manage the Port of London, the docks, and the London stretch of the River Thames. This map was issued from the former PLA headquarters in Trinity Square.

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