Poplar, Stepney, London, England

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Poplar is an area of the East End of London in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Poplar was a hamlet of Stepney until it became a separate parish in 1817. A few fishermen lived here in medieval times; but the village, centred on the High Street, grew from the 16th century onwards because of its nearness to London by road and its ability to cater for ocean-going vessels at Blackwall. The East India Company had many of its ships built in the Blackwall Yard and erected almshouses and a chapel. The Chapel was built as a chapelry of Stepney, but in 1823 Poplar became a parish and a new church [All Saints] was built. The registers of Poplar Chapel were transferred to the new church, the old building was then renamed St. Matthias and a new set of registers started.

By 1801, the population was only 4,500, but within ten years the opening of the East and West India Docks linked to London by the new East India Dock Road and Commercial Road provided the opportunity for rapid expansion. The population reached about 55,000 by 1881 and the last portion of open space was built over soon afterwards. Poplar became a metropolitan borough in 1900 including Bow and Bromley.


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