Queenhithe

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Ward of Queenhithe
Queenhithe London 2010.jpg
The Queenhithe riverside (upstream to the left; Queenhithe dock on right) from Bankside
Ward of Queenhithe is located in Greater London
Ward of Queenhithe

 Ward of Queenhithe shown within Greater London
Population280 
OS grid referenceTQ321808
    - Charing Cross 1.4 miles (2.3 km) West
Sui generisCity of London
Administrative areaGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtEC4
Dialling code020
PoliceCity of London
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK ParliamentCities of London and Westminster
London AssemblyCity and East
List of places
UK
England
London
 
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Coordinates: 51°30′40″N 0°05′49″W / 51.511°N 0.097°W / 51.511; -0.097

Ward of Queenhithe
Queenhithe London 2010.jpg
The Queenhithe riverside (upstream to the left; Queenhithe dock on right) from Bankside
Ward of Queenhithe is located in Greater London
Ward of Queenhithe

 Ward of Queenhithe shown within Greater London
Population280 
OS grid referenceTQ321808
    - Charing Cross 1.4 miles (2.3 km) West
Sui generisCity of London
Administrative areaGreater London
RegionLondon
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtEC4
Dialling code020
PoliceCity of London
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK ParliamentCities of London and Westminster
London AssemblyCity and East
List of places
UK
England
London

Queenhithe is a small ancient ward of the City of London, situated by the River Thames and to the south of St. Paul's Cathedral. The Millennium Footbridge notably crosses into the City at Queenhithe.

Queenhithe is also the name of an ancient, but presently disused, dock and a minor street which runs along that dock, both of which fall within the ward.

The ward is served by London Buses route 388, which runs along Queen Victoria Street and stops by the Millennium Footbridge,[1] and the nearest London Underground station is Mansion House, on Queen Victoria Street.

History[edit source | edit]

The ward's name derives from the "Queen's Dock",[2] or "Queen's Quay", which was probably a Roman dock (or small harbour), but known in Saxon times as "Aedereshyd", later "Ethelred's Hythe". The dock existed during the period when the Wessex king, Alfred the Great, re-established the City of London, circa 886 AD. It only became "Queenhithe" (spelt archaically as "Queenhythe") when Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, was granted duties on goods landed there. The Queenhithe dock remains today, but has long fallen out of use and is heavily silted up (being tidal). The Queenhithe harbour was used for importing corn into London and continued to be in use into the 20th century, by the fur trade. Being upstream of London Bridge however meant that large (especially sailing) ships could not gain access to the dock from the sea.

The dock, including the wharf walls and adjacent street, was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1973; it is the only surviving inlet on the modern City waterfront. The walls have been re-strengthened, as part of the area's flood defences.

Bombing in the Blitz destroyed approximately three-quarters of the buildings in the ward. The only listed buildings in the ward are St Benet Paul's Wharf church, and the tower of the former St Mary Somerset church.

A key sequence of the 1951 comedy The Lavender Hill Mob used Queenhithe as a location for filming. Mr. Holland, played by Alec Guinness, can be seen falling from a wharf into the Thames and being rescued by two actors dressed as police officers.

Construction of the Millennium Footbridge began in 1998 and it was opened in 2000; previously there was no bridge connecting the ward with the south bank of the Thames. The installation of the bridge, which created a direct pedestrian route from Bankside (at the Tate Modern) to the St. Paul's area, dramatically increased the volume of tourists and commuters travelling through the ward of Queenhithe.

Notable sites[edit source | edit]

The Salvation Army's headquarters in Queenhithe.

Queenhithe ward includes a number of notable buildings and sites, including:

Also within the ward are the London offices of the international law firm Salans and the Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Peter's Hill, which since the construction of the Millennium Footbridge is a major pedestrian route, shown leading up to St. Paul's Cathedral.

The ward has a complex urban topography, largely due to post-World War II development, with Upper Thames Street running beneath Peter's Hill and a number of large post-War buildings, such as Millennium Bridge House and Queensbridge House. A number of old lanes and alleys remain, some of which cross the thoroughfare by footbridge.

The Welsh church St Benet Paul's Wharf, on Bennet's Hill, is in the northwest corner of the ward. Two former churches were situated within the ward, very near to one another: St Michael Queenhithe and St Mary Somerset, of which only the tower of St Mary's remains.

The ward is one of the smaller centres of residents which exists in the otherwise business-dominated City. The resident population of the ward in 2009 was estimated to be 280.[3] Sir John Lyon House and Globe View are two residential developments. A small number of bars and restaurants have been established along the riverside, with views across to the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern.

Boundary[edit source | edit]

In 2003 the ward boundaries of the City of London were altered quite considerably, including those of Queenhithe, in what was the first comprehensive review of ward boundaries. Queenhithe lost some ground to the north and east to the ward of Vintry, but gained ground (including the City of London School) to the west from the ward of Castle Baynard. A further review of ward boundaries, effective in 2013, recommended no further changes to Queenhithe's boundaries. The ward is recognised as one of the four residential wards of the City (with a population of 319 (2011), the smallest of those wards)[4] and policy is to retain a predominantly residential vote (as opposed to the business vote being predominant) in these wards.[5]

The present-day boundary of the ward, starting from the Thames in the west, runs north along White Lion Hill (to the west of the City School) then east along Queen Victoria Street then down Lambeth Hill. The boundary then runs for a short distance along Upper Thames Street before heading north up Huggin Hill to include the Painters' Hall, after which the boundary turns south towards the river again; the ward includes all of Queensbridge House. Leading to the river, the boundary crosses Upper Thames Street and then runs along Queenhithe (the street), including the whole of the old dock.

Included within the ward boundary is the part of the Thames, adjacent to the Queenhithe shore, which is in the City (i.e. to a line mid-way across the width of the river). Indeed, approximately half of the ward's area is the Thames river and shore; with this part excluded the ward is the smallest (by area) in the City. The ward (and City) boundary is crossed halfway across the Millennium Footbridge.

The ward is bounded by the City wards of Castle Baynard to the west, Bread Street to the north, Vintry to the east, and the London borough of Southwark to the south (across the river). Prior to the 2003 changes the ward also bounded Cordwainer ward.

Politics[edit source | edit]

Queenhithe is one of 25 wards in the City of London, each electing an alderman to the Court of Aldermen, and commoners (the City equivalent of a councillor) to the Court of Common Council of the City of London Corporation. Only an elector who is a freeman of the City of London is eligible to stand.

Queenhithe elects two commoners to the Court of Common Council.

Queenhythe, Jamaica[edit source | edit]

A rural community called Queenhythe (or Queen Hythe) exists in the Saint Ann parish of Jamaica. As with many place names in that country, it is named after the place in England.

References[edit source | edit]

External links[edit source | edit]