Number 1 Warehouse

The Museum of London Docklands is housed in one of only two remaining warehouses erected on the north quay by the West India Dock Company. Originally built in the 1800s by wealthy merchants and slave plantation owners, these magnificent buildings once held great cargoes of sugar, rum and coffee. Each storey of the building was originally a different height – dictated by the nature of the cargo to be stored. The ground floors were designed to store two tiers of hogsheads of 'clayed' sugar. The upper floors stored a single tier of the heavier hogsheads of muscovado sugar, while the top floors held the lighter cargoes such as coffee, cocoa, cotton and pimento. The other warehouses were destroyed during the Second World War in September 1940. After the closure of the West India Docks in 1980 the building became derelict. In 2000 work began on restoring and converting the Grade I-listed building for use as a museum.

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