The History of the Port of London

A Vast Emporium of All Nations

Peter Stone

Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399085229

Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 256
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The River Thames has been integral to the prosperity of London since Roman times. Explorers sailed away on voyages of discovery to distant lands. Colonies were established and a great empire grew. Funding their ships and cargoes helped make the City of London into the world's leading financial center. In the 19th century a vast network of docks was created for ever-larger ships, behind high, prison-like walls that kept them secret from all those who did not toil within. Sail made way for steam as goods were dispatched to every corner of the world. In the 19th century London was the world's greatest port city. In the Second World War the Port of London became Hitler's prime target. It paid a heavy price but soon recovered. Yet by the end of the 20th century the docks had been transformed into Docklands, a new financial center.

The History of the Port of London: A Vast Emporium of Nations is the fascinating story of the rise and fall and revival of the commercial river. The only book to tell the whole story and bring it right up to date, it charts the foundation, growth and evolution of the port and explains why for centuries it has been so important to Britain's prosperity. This book will appeal to those interested in London's history, maritime and industrial heritage, the Docklands and East End of London, and the River Thames.

About The Author

Head of School, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University; Professor of Heritage Studies


The Thames rapidly became the most important river in the country following the Roman invasion, and has remained so ever since. Peter's History of the Port of London puts everything into perspective and looks at how it developed and changed through the ages. The section on how it became Hitler's prime target during WW2 is especially interesting, along with its conversion to the capital's financial hub, of course. Pure social history of the highest order.

- Books Monthly

Stone's writing is clear and engaging throughout and the accompanying photographs are well chosen. But perhaps what is more impressive is the wide range of writers the author draws upon to bring the port's story to life.

- Waterways World

This meticulously researched account underlines the importance of the capital's docklands… the overall arc, from Roman landing to modern financial centre, is illuminated by maps, photos and the sheer scale of research.

- Discover Britain

Peter Stone's comprehensive volume helps us all make sense of the changing scene on London's river.

- Best of British Magazine

Overall, this is a solid, well-researched history, written in an easily accessible style. The full history of the Port of London is finally, and finely, told.

- Londonist

A close-in view of the most famous seaport worldwide, the book will appeal to Londoners and also those outside the capital interested in Britain’s rich maritime heritage.

- Julian Stockwin, author action-adventure historical fiction

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