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Sailortown: 1840 - 1850

Event, Exhibition (permanent) 1 November 2014 - 1 November 2018
    • The Sailortown gallery is a full size reconstruction of the dark, winding streets of Victorian Wapping. The gallery attempts to recreate the contemporary description of the area as "both foul and picturesque". The area was a maze of streets, lanes and alleys. Its inhabitants catered to the needs of sailors of all nationalities alighting in London. In 1852, the reverend Thomas Beames wrote of the area around the docks: "Go there by day and every fourth man you meet is a sailor… Public houses abound in these localities… fitted up with everything which can draw sailors together… in a third class of house were professional thieves … they were evidently preying upon the drunken sailors whose ill luck had led them to places where they were little acquainted." Those brave enough to enter Sailortown will find an alehouse, sailors' lodging house, chandlery, wild animal emporium, and much more.
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