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Boat houses

Radley's Boat House, Lea Dockc. 1920(Hackney Archives). (Reported destroyed by fire before 1920)

Boat houses

The Lea was lined with boat yards and boat houses from at least the middle of the nineteenth century. These yards variously built and repaired boats;hired out boats for leisure and fishing trips; or storedthe boats and acted as a base for the many competitive rowing clubs that grew up in the mid to late nineteenth century.

Footage of the first all women regatta held by the Cecil Ladies' Rowing Club in 1925. More

Radley's boat houses

The Radley boat building business was established on the Lea in the 1850s and survived for over a 100 years.There were at least were three Radley boat houses.

Radley's Boat House, Lea Bridge Dock

LB1 24

Possibly Radley's Boat Yard, Spring Hill in 1912- now the Springfield Marina (View looking west towards the Lea) (Hackney Archives)

Radley's Boat Yard, Lea Bridge Dock

Ship Aground artefact 001

Plan of Lea Bridge Dock in 1905. Radley's is at lower right

The boat house was located in the south east corner of Lea Bridge Dock and was connected to the River Lea by a short channel that travelled under Dock Bridge. Road access was from Waterworks Lane. The yard was used by nine rowing clubs in the 1880's.The dock has been infilled and subsumed into the Paradise Park development. Dock Bridge survives.

The yard is described in auction details in 1905 as: 'Boat builders premises comprising workshop of two floors with store house and dressing rooms, boat store and two club rooms

Creek Boat House/ Middlesex Wharf/Lea Dock

This was adjacent to Lathams Yard at the north east corner of the old Lea Dock. Described as a new boat house in 1901, it was reported burnt down in 1932.

Radleys Yard, Spring Hill

Radley's was located on the east bank of the Lea below the High Bridge. Lee Valley Regional Park Authority demolished the boat houses in 1969 and developed the Springfield Marina on the site.

Click here to read the story of the Radley boat building family(opens a new page).

Tyrrell's Boathouse

Tyrrell’s boathouse was a boat-building workshop located at the bottom of Spring Hill on the west bank of the Lea, opposite Radley's Yard. It became the home of theNorth London Amateur Rowing Associationin 1953. A cluster of older and more modern boat houses remains today in this location. The post-war boat housewas proposed to be locally listed in 2012 (No. 94).


Verdon's Boat House, c1865

Verdon's (Spring Hill)

Eight rowing clubs used this yard in the 1880's, including Clapton Ladies Boating Club. This boat house was proposed to be locally listed in 2012 (No. 93).

Charles Megg's Yard

Thirteen boat clubs used this yard in the 1880s.

Charles Megg's Boat Yard, south of the Jolly Angler's PH (Hackney Archives)

High Hill Ferry

Pleasureboats and punts could be hired at High Hill ferry, which depended heavily on the seasonal income from river users.

Jolly Anglers

Pleasureboats and punts could be hired at theJolly Anglerspublic house, Middlesex Wharf. The area was cleared in either 1912 and/or the 1930s.


Radley Boat Builders River Lea, Clive Radleyhttp://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/a/d/Clive-Radley/index.html

'Hackney: Social and Cultural Activities', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10: Hackney (1995), pp. 65-73

Lea Rowing Club

Recollections, comments, contributions and corrections

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leabridge.org.uk December 2012