Blackwall across the River Thames from Greenwich antique print, published c.1851. The district of Blackwall has been known as such at least since the 14th century. This presumably derives from the colour of the river wall, constructed in the Middle Ages. The area lay in a sheltered loop of the river next to Poplar‘s East Marsh, where the East India Docks were constructed at the beginning of the 19th century. The area has never had its own Anglican church so for services such as road maintenance organised by a vestry and poor relief it relied upon its ecclesiastical parish (of All Saints) Poplar. Indeed the whole Isle of Dogs was until the late 20th century referred to as being Poplar or the Poplar District. Blackwall was a significant ocean-going port in past centuries and was connected with important voyages. On 7 June 1576, financed by the Muscovy Company, Martin Frobisher set sail from here, seeking the North West Passage. Walter Raleigh had a house here, and in the early years of the 17th century the port was the main departure point of the English colonization of North America and the West Indies launched by the London Company. For over four hundred years, until 1987, Blackwall was a centre of shipbuilding and repairing. This activity principally included Blackwall Yard, the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company at Leamouth, Canning Town (part of whose works spanned the vary informal border of the very small one-road, one unit deep area of Leamouth), and the Orchard House Yard. Blackwall Yard (two of whose former dry docks can still be seen around the present-day Reuters building.) Frigates were built here for the Royal Navy and foreign governments. Little industry remains in Blackwall today.