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Millbank Pier

Peter Ackroyd on Millbank

'In December 1927 the tide reached 17 feet 3 inches, but in the following year it peaked to 18 feet 3 inches. The river-banks at Millbank were breached, and fourteen people drowned. On 6 January 1928 a storm in the North Sea created a tidal surge that raised the waters of the river to their highest recorded level. The defensive walls of the Embankment were breached at Hammersmith and at Millbank. Fourteen people were drowned in the basements of Westminster. The other great flood was of March 1947, and in most locks the two high makers commemorate the floods of 1894 and 1947.'

'Tilbury Fort was employed as a prison, and the Millbank penitentiary (now the site of the Tate Gallery) was a famous 'modern' prison organised on Benthamite principles. The octagonal shape of the gaol is still visible from the air; a sculpture by Henry Moore, 'The Locking Piece' marks the point where the prisoners boarded the ships that would take them down the Thames on their way to Australia. The river would be one of their last views of England.'

Peter Ackroyd's Readings on Millbank

To hear Peter Ackroyd's Readings on Millbank

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History of the piers

History at Millbank Pier.

Download the exclusive Dark Waters history of the piers pdf here (pdf - 2MB).

Buildings around Millbank Pier

  • Number Key for Dark Waters Map Side One
  • 1-18, 22, 24
  • (20 buildings)