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PosterCo Ltd

Custom House Tower, The Thames - Framed Print - 14"H x 11"W


Custom House Tower, The Thames - Framed Print - 14"H x 11"W

The Custom House, on the north bank of the Thames was formerly in use for the collection of customs duties. It was in use for many centuries and rebuilt on a number of occasions.

The site was long known as "Wool Quay", and, from the medieval period, a custom house was necessary there to levy the duty payable on exported wool. Such a building is recorded as early as 1377. The quay and the buildings on it were privately owned. Around 1380, one John Churchman built a custom house there to collect dues for the City of London, and in 1382 the crown came to an agreement to use its facilities.

The post-fire of London replacement was on a rather larger scale, to the designs of Christopher Wren.

With the growth of trade, the opening of the docks, and the increases in duties during the Napoleonic wars, larger premises became necessary in the early nineteenth century. To meet this need, a new building was begun to the designs of David Laing in October 1813

On 12 February 1814 the old building was destroyed by fire, resulting in the explosion of gunpowder and spirits. As a result, papers were retrieved from as far as Hackney Marshes. (7 Miles away)


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