Thursday, May 02, 2024

Stave Hill Viewpoint

City of London from Stave Hill
Looking towards the City of London.

It was while on a recent trip to Rotherhithe that I finally visited Stave Hill viewpoint, and it was not a disappointment.

Approaching Stave Hill Viewpoint
Approaching Stave Hill Viewpoint.

Set in the Stave Hill Ecological Park this artificial hill stands stands 9 metres (29.5 feet) in height and offers incredible 360 degree views out across London. There are sixty concrete steps that need to be climbed, but it is definitely worth the climb. There is a handrail either side, to assist those less able.

Stave Hill Viewpoint Steps
The 60 Steps.

Obviously, the closest buildings to see are the ever increasing amount of buildings at nearby Canary Wharf, but there is more to see: Nine Elms, the BT Tower, Nine Elms, the City of London and all points in between. 

On a clear day I expect you can see Wembley Stadium.

Stave Hill Viewpoint Map
London Docklands 1989.

At the top of the mound, at its centre, is a cast bronze relief map showing the various docklands of the area, that was installed in 1989. This cast map with its raised buildings and dock walls fills with rainwater, giving the map an organic feel. 

Canary Wharf from Stave Hill
Canary Wharf.

I can imagine that on a summer's evening that this is the place to watch some amazing sunsets, but I doubt it would be as quiet as it was on my visit.

Brief History

The Russia Docks were part of the Surrey Commercial Docks and were used, primarily, for the import of softwood timber, which was used for newsprint and furniture making.

When the docks closed, in the 1970s, the area was redeveloped by the London Docklands Development Corporation. Russia Dock, along with Island Dock and Surrey Basin were infilled and planted as a 34.5-acre woodland, in 1980. 

A narrow stream 'flows' through the woodland, which is littered with surviving docks reminders, like bollards, capstones, depth gauges and mooring chains. Footbridges and paths allow access for any and all visitors to the woodland.

This narrow stretch of woodland is adjacent to Stave Hill Ecological Park and brings much needed tranquil spots and wildlife to the area.

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