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Save Wapping River Stairs

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Save Wapping River Stairs

Save Wapping River Stairs

Turk's Head Charity By Turk's Head Charity

Save Wapping Dock River Stairs will restore the historic and derelict river stairs next to Wapping Station and in doing so will reinstate a lost access point to the Thames foreshore.

City of London Delivery stage

pledged of £34,353

Sorry this project was unsuccessful, we did not reach our fundraising goal.

We want to restore Wapping's historic river stairs. From the 1500s until the 1960s the river stairs were an integral part of this maritime area just east of Tower Bridge. The closure of the London Docks in the 1960s meant that the stairs, which had been used by Watermen until the 18th century and more latterly by dock companies, fell into disrepair. We want to stem this neglect and get the stairs back to an acceptable safety level to enable public access to the dazzling and intriguing Thames foreshore. While most of the stairs have disappeared, the risk to the heritage of Wapping is that the lack of access has caused a disconnect in peoples’ memories of Wapping before it became a chiefly residential area. We want to re-connect the historic relationship between Wapping and its river heritage. Restoring this river staircase we hope will be the first of many as it is part of a larger project to restore and repair all 9 of the river stairs in Wapping.

What we'll deliver:

  • Engage the community. Host events that allow people to discover the history and the potential of the foreshore
  • Instruct lawyers to investigate easements and rights of way to the access stairs
  • Explore the possibility of a Community Warden training scheme to look after and monitor the access stairs
  • Liaise with other charities and organisations that are involved promoting a fuller engagement with the river.
  • Rebuild the historic Wapping Dock Stairs

Why it's a great idea:

The Thames foreshore is a major public open resource that deserves to be better celebrated and cherished. Yet, restrictions on rights of way and the neglect of river stairs are eroding our ability to access the foreshore. Improving and protecting foreshore access will not only celebrate London’s heritage, but will allow Londoners to reconnect with the ecology and life of their river and to experience nature in an unexpected and enduring way. Also, for centuries people from Wapping either worked on the river or were associated with the docks and the river was a major part of their lives. Since the1960s this relationship has steadily been neglected as gates have been placed across unsafe staircases. This project will begin a new connection.

Steps to get it done:

  • Schedule works to fit around tide times

Wapping River Stairs Project is a community focused urban regeneration project that aims to increase public appreciation of London’s principle river. We believe community-evolved solutions should be at the heart of urban planning. Collaboration, inclusiveness, and commitment to social and environmental sustainability will be at the heart of this project. The project will initially focus on the Wapping Dock river stairs, which are next to Wapping Overground station. Blocks of flats have truncated the Thames Path from the riverfront along this stretch of the river cutting off communities from river access. Restoration of the stairs and improved way finding will enable and encourage people to rediscover and reclaim their river foreshore.

Location City of London

About the space

Custom Location


London Borough of Tower Hamlets

How will the money be spent?Total £34,353

Reinstate timber steps 16No in hardwood and reinstate timber posts to support a handrail in hardwood - £20,000 (58%)
Unproductive working time/waiting time - £5,500 (16%)
Re-point mortar joints to concrete stair - £2,500 (7%)
new metal handrail to one side only 6.5 m - £2,000 (6%)
Provide permanent guarding at base of stone steps - £1,000 (3%)
Other - £3,353 (10%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Reinstate timber steps 16No in hardwood and reinstate timber posts to support a handrail in hardwood
Unproductive working time/waiting time
Re-point mortar joints to concrete stair
new metal handrail to one side only 6.5 m
Provide permanent guarding at base of stone steps
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • Transaction Fees
  • VAT

Total £34,353

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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