Originally called Union Wharf, no doubt so named as it connected Greenwich Wharf, Port of London Wharf and Crowley’s Wharf in the 19thCentury to the Union Tavern, which changed its name to the Cutty Sark when that tea clipper first came to Greenwich in 1951. By the following century, Crowley’s had become Anchor Iron Wharf. Ballast is of course material that is used to provide stability of vessels, which can be cargo. In this case the Lime, Cement and Slate works were based at Greenwich Wharf. A Quay is, technically, a part of the river bank or coastline which has been modified so that ships can dock at it parallel to the shore. A wharf is a man-made structure, which provides an area for ships to safely dock. Some can involve different types of berth over a large area, and navigable channels, and others are more straightforward. A wharf can contain quays and piers and will normally have buildings within it to service the ships (often warehouses and offices).
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