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Lea Bridge Dock Bridge

Dock Bridge c.1901 (Hackney Archives)


Dock Bridge today



British Waterways

Date or period

Circa. 1853

Current Designation

Lea Bridge Conservation Area (The south east boundary excludes part of the bridge and rampart). Archaeological Priority Area.

Archaeological Significance

Associated with schemes for Lea Bridge Dock and possibly also the development of the Hackney Cut and at least two periods of development of the Lea Bridge waterworks.

Group Value

The bridge has strong group value with the River Lea and the Hackney Cut, the adjoining Waterworks and the Octagonal Sluice building and the hamlet of Lea Bridge.


The bridge appears is in good condition, although the brickwork to the abutments is degraded and vandalised with the coping brick removed in parts.

The Vision homes development has formed an un-stabilised bank at the boundary which is collapsing; accelerating the in-filling of the remaining water body beneath the bridge.

Lea Bridge Dock Bridge

Architectural Merit

Bridge over theentrance to the former Lea Bridge Dock. Makers' mark on west side states ‘H&M.D.GRISSEL LONDON 1853’. Grissel's also made an early post office letter box at the same time in their Regents Canal Iron Works (located in Eagle Wharf Road, Hackney, N1), as well asLondon Coal Tax Posts. It is not known if the dock was originally impounded by the entrance lock.

Historical Association

The bridge is likely to be the second installed at this point after the construction of the dock, although the bridge ramparts may still be the originally constructed dock entrance.

The dock is associated with William Hurst Ashpitel (1776-1852), developer of the dock. Whilst the date of the bridge is some twenty year later than the construction of the dock, historic maps show a bridge in place when it opened.

The current bridge may possibly be associated with a wider scheme, including new filter beds and a new bridge over the Cut to the mill, Strongs Bridge, and these may possibly have been supervised by Thomas Wicksteed prior to his retirement from the post of engineer to the East London Waterworks Company.

The story of the development of water treatment along the Lea and at Lea Bridge prefigures that of other parts of London and other UK towns and cities. For this reason, the bridge may possibly be of national (rather than local or London/ regional) importance.

Future Conservation

After further research, consider national listing (group value) or local listing. Urgent repairs are needed to the brickwork of the abutments. Dredging the bed of the Dock may require a retaining structure to be installed first.

leabridge.org.uk December 2012