The Landscape Guide

Surrey Docks, SE16

The Surrey Docks were excavated in the first half of the nineteenth century and closed in 1969. Most of the dock basins were filled in by the Port of London Authority during the 1970s - so that they could earn a profit on the landfill operation. When the docks were reclaimed in the 1980s the fill had to be removed, compacted and then replaced. It was a tragedy. The following places are worth a visit:

  • Russia Dock Woodland
  • Lavender Dock Pond: Part of the old Lavender Dock has been excavated to provide a pond and ecological study area for school children. The scheme was designed by Land Use Consultants and will be managed by the Ecological Parks Trust.
  • Stave Hill - a conical hill, conceived by Ted Hollamby as a landmark for a flat area. There is a bronze relief map by Michael Rizzello on top of the hill which fill with water when it rains to show the docks as they were in 1896.
  • Rotherhithe Knot Garden: A small brick-paved window on the Thames designed by T. Meddings as an entry for the 1975 Art into Landscape Competition. It contained a number of giant rope knots which were set with resin but have now decayed and been removed.
  • Surrey Quays

Access from Lower Road.

HOMEPAGE - Landscape Architecture London List

Goto map 53

Stave Hill in the Surrey Docks

The bronze relief of Surrey Docks - with a view to the Swiss Re building

Lavender Pond is a successful wildlife reserve