Inventory Site Record

Ropemakers Fields (Tower Hamlets)

Brief Description

Ropemakers Fields was laid out under the auspices of London Docklands Development Corporation on derelict land, together with land above the new Limehouse Link Tunnel. Although a new park it is of some historic interest in that it was formerly the site of ropemaking in Limehouse where rope for marine anchors, rigging and mining was made for many centuries. Samuel Pepys refers to a visit to the ropeyard in 1664, and Tsar Alexander II of Russia visited in 1871.

Practical Information
Site location:
Oak Street/Narrow Street, Limehouse
E14 8DA
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Tower Hamlets
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
DLR: Westferry, Limehouse.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.towerhamlets.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Limehouse Link Tunnel was built in 1989-93 in order to create an underground link between The Highway and the Isle of Dogs instead of building an overground route that would have disrupted much of Limehouse. The park was laid out by the LDDC with landscape architects Churchman Associates and extends from Narrow Street in the south to the canal that leads to Commercial Road near St Anne's Church Limehouse (q.v.). The history of the area is alluded to through the design of railings and bollards with a rope motif, and a sculpture by Jane Ackroyd, Herring Gull (1994), depicts a copper gull on a coil of rope. The undulating landscape includes areas of grass and trees including Indian bean trees, with paths, seating and a bandstand with cast-iron columns that came from a warehouse in St Katharine's Docks. To the south of the park is a terrace of C17th and early C18th buildings, a well-preserved and rare survival in this area of Docklands, which has seen much new building in the last few decades.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry, Charles O'Brien, Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 5: East', Yale University Press, 2005.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ366807 (536650,180750)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Tower Hamlets
Site management:
Leisure Services, Parks and Open Spaces. Friends of Ropemakers Fields
LDDC and Churchman Associates
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.