COD 2014 London Conference: Big Cities | Big Ideas : Shad Thames, Bermondsey

Photo by Lars Ploughmann

Photo by Lars Ploughmann

Shad Thames is a historic riverside street next to Tower Bridge and an informal name for the surrounding area. With Tower Bridge at the west end of the street, it runs along the south side of the River Thames, set back behind a row of converted

In decline for much of the 20th century, the area was regenerated in the 1980’s an d 1990’s when the abandoned warehouses were converted into mixed-use developments, providing expensive flats, many with retail, restaurants and bars at the street level. As part of the regeneration of the area, designer and restaurateur Terrance Conran opened a number of now well-known riverside restaurants.

The converted warehouses retain their original characteristic features of brickwork, winches, large sign-writing, and most are named after the commodities which were originally stored in them. It is said that a century of spices had infused into the brickwork, so after they were converted into flats the first residents of each building could still detect the scent after which it was named. Various new buildings have been constructed as the development of new flats continues.


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