Butler's Wharf

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Butler's Wharf from Tower Bridge
Tea Trade Wharf, an adjacent building in the Shad Thames area

Butler's Wharf is an English historic building at Shad Thames on the south bank of the River Thames, just east of London's Tower Bridge, now housing luxury flats and restaurants. Lying between Shad Thames and the Thames Path, it overlooks both the bridge and St Katharine Docks on the north side of the river. Butler's Wharf is also used as a term for the surrounding area. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]


Butler's Wharf, which was designed by James Tolley and Daniel Dale as a shipping wharf and warehouse complex, accommodating goods unloaded from ships using the port of London, was completed in 1873.[2]

From 1975 to 1978, the artists' space at 2B Butler's Wharf was a key venue for early UK video art and performance art, used among others by Derek Jarman[3] and the artists and dancers of X6 Dance Collective who published a magazine called New Dance for a number of years. Some of these people subsequently founded Chisenhale Studios and Chisenhale Dance Space,[4] including Philip Jeck.[5] In 1978, the band X-Ray Spex filmed their video for the song "Identity" in and on the roof of the building.[6]

In 1984, Butler's Wharf and the portion of Shad Thames running behind it featured prominently in the Doctor Who serial Resurrection of the Daleks.[7]

After the building fell into a state of disuse and then dereliction, Butler's Wharf was transformed into luxury flats, with restaurants and shops on the ground floor.[8] The conversion of the main building, now known as 34 Shad Thames, which was carried out to a design by Conrad Roche, was completed in 1989.[9]

The conversion of the Clove Building, which was carried out to a design by Allies and Morrison and built by Sir Robert McAlpine, was completed in 1990[8] and the conversion of Tea Trade Wharf, which was carried out to a design by OSEL Architecture and built by Carillion, was completed in 2003.[10]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Butler's Wharf Building, Butler's Wharf West (1385896)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  2. ^ "Butler's Wharf". Industrial Heritage. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  3. ^ Peake, Tony (1999). Derek Jarman. Little, Brown & Company. p. 190. ISBN 0 316 64466 8.
  4. ^ "About us". Chisenhale Art Place. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  5. ^ "An Aggregation of Small Gains – An Interview with Philip Jeck". The Liminal. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 'I used to live at Butler’s Wharf in London, right next to one of the first independent dance studios, which evolved into Chisenhale Studios, which we built and ran.'
  6. ^ "Punk in Portugal". Bernardo Caldeira. p. 11.
  7. ^ "Resurrection of the Daleks". Dr Who Locations. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Clove Building". Allies and Morrison. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  9. ^ "34 Shad Thames". Bermondsey Property Guide. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Tea Trade Wharf, Shad Thames". Royal Institute of British Architects. Retrieved 21 July 2020.

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Coordinates: 51°30′14″N 0°04′27″W / 51.5038°N 0.0741°W / 51.5038; -0.0741