No, Canary Wharf is not so named because it was the centre of London’s lucrative trade in canaries.

Canary-WharfRather it received its name from the fact that it was at a quay here that ships from the Spanish Canary Islands and the Mediterranean landed laden with cargos of fruit.

The wharf, part of the West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs, was built in 1936 by Fruit Lines Limited and a warehouse the following year.

The area where the wharf was once located was redeveloped under a massive regeneration project starting in the late 1980s and is now one of London’s key financial districts, filled with modern, multi-storey office towers and home to the second-tallest tower in the UK, One Canada Square (seen above with the pyramid-shaped roof).

Advertisements

The Constable of the Tower of London, General Lord Richard Dannatt, was presented with a barrel of wine in the Ceremony of the Constable’s Dues by the commander and crew of the Royal Navy destroyer, the HMS Liverpool,  last Saturday. The annual ceremony dates back to the 14th century and relates to the right of the tower’s constable to demand tolls from vessels on the Thames on behalf of the king. Previous offerings have included  barrels of rum, oysters, mussels and cockles. The HMS Liverpool, commanded by Colin N O Williams, was berthed at West India Docks before the ceremony and the wine escorted to the Tower where, after being challenged by Yeoman Warders it was delivered to the constable at the Queen’s House. The ship is to be decommissioned in spring after 30 years of service in which it saw service in Iraq, the Caribbean and during the recent Libyan conflict. For more on the Tower of London, see www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/

PICTURE: Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces