Molestrand Dock

The Molestrand Dock was located in the borough of Southwark on the southern bank of the Thames, somewhere between Paris Garden and Bankside. It is included in a list of landing places used by watermen in 1732 by Rendle and Norman in The Inns of Old Southwark and their Associations, which might indicate that its primary use was for ferries carrying passengers across the river (Rendle and Norman 323).
The area of Molestrand, from which the dock most likely gets its name, was the site of a number of tenement buildings, and records from the Parish of St. Saviour (Southwark) mention various issues that arose concerning the residents. On 25 August 1624, it was written in the Surrey and Kent Sewer Commissioner’s court records that,
the owners and occupiers of the houses and groundes att Molestrand ought to Clense and Scowre everie one his parte of the sewar there from the end thereof by Alexander Kippinges house vnto the Signe of the ffalcon. (LMA SKCS/025)
The Signe of the ffalcon mentioned in this document is most likely a reference to the Falcon Inn. The inn’s proximity to the Globe Theatre would suggest that some of the passengers disembarking at Molestrand might have been on their way to see a performance or indulge in any of the other less wholesome entertainments that Southwark had to offer, from bear-baiting to brothels. Another record from the London Metropolitan Archives mentions Molestrand and its tenements and their contributions toward the pollution of the Thames:
The jury presents Gap in transcription. Reason: (JWS)[…] one Carpenter, one Stokes, Robert Clarke, Edward Griffin, and Jane Thompson widow, for their houses. the Common sewar from the Arch by Drapers bridge to the Bearegarden, and soe to the Pikegardens & vp to Molestrand and all and everie the pissers sewars and Dreyners issueing thereinto John Webster for a grate of iron in the sincke before his house att Molestrand The tenants of the bishop of Winchester att and neere to Molestrand to wharf the Northside of the sewar there all alonge from the Signepost wch beareth the signe of the ffalcon to the head of the same sewar by the house of John Webster aforesaid Joseph Bryan for the sewar in Rose alley on the banckside for soyle coming out of his house into the said sewar. (LMA SKCS/028)
From this description in the Sewer Commissioner’s records, one can form a vivid picture of what sanitary conditions were like in Southwark in the early modern period, with soyle overflowing onto the streets.
The Fairburn Map of London, Westminster and the New Docks, dated 1802 and printed by John Fairburn, shows the location of the Molestrand Dock adjacent to Willow Street, which ends at Bankside (Fairburn). The site is also depicted on Rocque and Pine’s 1746 map (A Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster, and Borough of Southwark with Contiguous Buildings), where it is labelled Moldſrand Dock. The exact origin of the name of Molestrand is currently unclear. There is a tributary of the Thames that runs through Surrey known as the River Mole, however, this River is nowhere close to the historic location of Molestrand, so any connection to these two places is questionable.


Cite this page

MLA citation

Smith, Justin W. Molestrand Dock. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, INP.

Chicago citation

Smith, Justin W. Molestrand Dock. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. INP.

APA citation

Smith, J. W. 2022. Molestrand Dock. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from INP.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Smith, Justin
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Molestrand Dock
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#SMIT19"><surname>Smith</surname>, <forename>Justin</forename> <forename>W.</forename></name></author> <title level="a">Molestrand Dock</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>. INP.</bibl>



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