Above: The completed development seen from the Isle of Dogs in April 2015. Payne’s Wharf was on the right. Its original brick arches have been retained in the new building. Borthwick’s Wharf was on the left, where the modern tower block stands.
This article describes both Payne’s Wharf and the adjacent site, on its southern side, known as Borthwick Wharf.
Payne’s Wharf faced directly onto the Thames. All that remains of it are the Grade II listed arches of its facade, retained for incorporation into the long proposed redevelopment. Payne’s Wharf had been the boiler shop of John Penn & Sons marine engineers – from the 1860s until 1913. The company supplied ship parts for many vessels. The most famous was HMS Warrior – the first iron hulled warship in the Royal Navy. After that time the building was used for various storage purposes. It was used to store general cargo when Palmers owned it. Some of the time the building was totally empty.
Borthwick Wharf was on the southern side of Payne’s Wharf and was a much larger building. A former meat processing and cold store, it was one of the last such facilities built in Deptford. It was distinguished by a prominent mural of a bisected pig on an upper storey.
It was not until 2013 that the new development was completed. The outer walls of Payne’s Wharf stood for several years before any work to incorporate them into the new development was started. Borthwick’s Wharf was completely demolished and nothing from the original building remains in the site.
The new development is on the south side of Watergate Street, beside the Thames. The two warehouses were originally sandwiched between the river and Borthwick Street. Behind the development today is a new open space called Twinkle Park which includes reed beds and a water feature.