Hidden London

Devons Road

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Tower Hamlets

A DLR station named after the road that links Bow Common with Bromley-by-Bow. It was one of the original fifteen stations on the DLR when it opened in 1991 on a disused section of freight line. Devons Road was formerly the site of British Railways’ first all-diesel maintenance depot. Spratt’s Warehouse, beside the track in Violet Road, is regarded as one of Britain’s finest industrial buildings. Built in 1899 to make and store pet food and biscuits, it has now been converted into flats and offices. Two semi-derelict Victorian shops in Devons Road were the first properties to be managed by Acme Studios, marking the beginnings of an organisation that would become the largest provider of working and living space for artists in the United Kingdom.

The Widow’s Son, at 75 Devons Road, is also known as ‘the Bun House’. Both names derive from the story of a widow who put aside a hot cross bun for her son, who was on a sea voyage. But he never returned, so she hung the bun from the ceiling in mourning and repeated this act every Easter afterwards. When a pub was built on the site, around 1848, the publican retained the custom and the annual ‘hanging of the bun’ was made a clause in the lease of the building. Sailors to this day perform the ceremony on Good Friday.

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A sailor hangs a hot cross bun in the Widow's Son public house on Good Friday
Spratt's

Postal district: E3
Station: Docklands Light Railway (Zone 2)

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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