St Katharine Docks, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, were one of the commercial docks serving London, on the north side of the river Thames just east (downstream) of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. They were part of the Port of London, in the area now known as the Docklands, and are now a popular housing and leisure complex.
St Katharine Docks took their name from the former hospital of St Katharine's by the Tower, built in the 12th century, which stood on the site. An intensely built-up 23 acre (9.5 hectares) site was earmarked for redevelopment by an Act of Parliament in 1825, with construction commencing in May 1827. Some 1250 houses were demolished, together with the medieval hospital of St. Katharine. Around 11,300 inhabitants, mostly port workers crammed into insanitary slums, lost their homes; only property owners received compensation. (...)
The docks were officially opened on 25 October 1828. Although well used, they were not a great commercial success and were unable to accommodate large ships. (...)
The St Katharine Docks were badly damaged by German bombing during the Second World War and never fully recovered thereafter. (...)
Most of the original warehouses were demolished and replaced by modern commercial buildings in the early 1970s, with the docks themselves becoming a marina. The development has often been cited as a model example of successful urban redevelopment. (...)
The area now features offices, public and private housing, a large hotel, shops and restaurants, a pub (The Dickens Inn, a former brewery dating back to the 18th century), a yachting marina and other recreational facilities. (...)