So called after the embankment that was built to hold back the black river, the Thames. The wall was constructed as part of plans to drain the land so that building could take place in the marshy area. It was first mentioned in 1377 as Blakewall or Blakewale. It was made up of two Old English words blœc and wall. The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was opened on May 22, 1897 by the then Prince and Princess of Wales.
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