Poplar is an historical, mainly residential area of East London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is about 5.5 miles east of Charing Cross, historically a hamlet in the parish of Stepney, Middlesex, in 1817 Poplar became a civil parish. In 1855 the Poplar District of the Metropolis was formed, which also included Bromley, the district became the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar in 1900 which was abolished in 1965. The district centre is Chrisp Street Market, Poplar contains notable examples of public housing including the Lansbury Estate and Balfron Tower. Architecturally it is a mixture of 18th and 19th-century terraced houses, st Matthias Old Church is located on Poplar High Street, opposite Tower Hamlets College. It is next to Poplar Town Hall – which has mosaic detail – and Poplar Bowls Club, a recently reopened sports centre called The Workhouse stands on the site of Poplar Workhouse, where local politician Will Crooks spent some of his earliest years. The Metropolitan Borough of Poplar was the location, in 1921, of the Poplar Rates Rebellion, led by the Mayor, George Lansbury, who was later elected as leader of the Labour Party. As part of the 1951 Festival of Britain, a new housing estate was built to the north of the East India Dock Road. This estate includes Chrisp Street Market, which was commended by Lewis Mumford. Other notable buildings in Poplar include Poplar Baths, which reopened in 2016 having finally closed in 1988, during the development of the Isle of Dogs the street signs pointed to the new development, and Poplar was lost for a decade or more. The following year, tenants on further estates voted to remain with the Council, although many people associate wartime bombing with The Blitz during World War II, the first airborne terror campaign in Britain took place during the First World War. Air raids in World War One caused significant damage and took many lives, German raids on Britain, for example, caused 1,413 deaths and 3,409 injuries. Air raids provided a means of striking at resources vital to an enemys war effort. The East End of London was one of the most heavily targeted places, Poplar, in particular, was struck badly by some of the air raids during the First World War. Initially these were at night by Zeppelins which bombed the area indiscriminately, the first daylight bombing attack on London by a fixed-wing aircraft took place on 13 June 1917. Fourteen German Gotha G bombers led by Hauptmann Ernst Brandenberg flew over Essex and it was a hot day and the sky was hazy, nevertheless, onlookers in Londons East End were able to see a dozen or so big aeroplanes scintillating like so many huge silver dragonflies. These three-seater bombers were carrying shrapnel bombs which were dropped just before noon, numerous bombs fell in rapid succession in various districts. In the East End alone 104 people were killed,154 seriously injured and 269 slightly injured, the gravest incident that day was a direct hit on a primary school in Poplar
Image: Poplar all saints church 1
St. Mary and St. Joseph Church
A map showing the civil parish boundaries in 1870.
A map showing the wards of Poplar Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.