Photo Gallery - Groundbreakers Trail



Groundbreakers is a new online guide that unearths and brings to life some of the histories whose physical traces, like the rivers and tunnels which criss-cross the Park, are now largely forgotten or hidden from sight.

There are nine information plaques within the Park which contain links designed to be viewed using a mobile device to show videos and information about that area. The official map showing the location of these plaques can be seen by clicking here. See below for photos of each of the plaques and of their general location.

For full details of this project, click here and for the project resources, including a fascinating full document that can be downloaded as a PDF file, click here.

Olympic Bell

"The Olympic Bell, which was only ever rung at the 2012 Olympic Games, provides us with the perfect metaphor to reflect on the ideas of development and change in the Lower Lea Valley."
1 Olympic Bell A.jpg
1 Olympic Bell B.jpg

Carpenters Road Lock

"This story shows how this uniquely designed lock allowed boats and barges passage through the river and canal system. Discover why it fell into disuse before its recent restoration."
2 Carpenters Lock A.jpg
2 Carpenters Lock B.jpg

Lea Navigation

"An animated map which traces the history of the growth of the canals, locks and navigations in East London."
3 Lea Navigation A.jpg
3 Lea Navigation B.jpg

Eton Manor

"A sports and social club for boys was established by the alumni of Eton College in the 1880s to support the working poor of East London. This story reflects on the history and legacy of sport in the Lower Lea Valley."
4 Eton Manor A.jpg
4 Eton Manor B.jpg


"The only remaining Victorian factory building in the Park provides us with a window into the production of sweet confectionary which were produced in Hackney Wick. The canals, railways and docks brought sugar and raw materials from abroad and allowed the finished sweets to be distributed around the world."
5 Clarnico A.jpg
5 Clarnico B.jpg

Northern Outfall Sewer

"In response to the “Great Stink” of 1858 created by sewage dumped directly into the Thames, Civil Engineer Joseph Bazalgette was commissioned to design and build a sewerage system which would take human waste out of central London and dispose of it downriver near Barking Creek."
6 Northern Outfall A.jpg
6 Northern Outfall B.jpg

City Mill River

"In 1798, Howard & Sons established the first factory which would spark a period of massive industrial growth in this area. The works were powered by cheap coal, delivered on the canals and waterways."
7 City Mill A.jpg
7 City Mill B.jpg

London Aquatics Centre

"When the Centre was constructed the remains of a 2000-year-old village were discovered by archaeologists. We build a story of what life must have been like at this riverside settlement, inhabited during the Bronze and Iron Ages."
8 London Aquatics Centre A.jpg
8 London Aquatics Centre B.jpg

9. Stratford Works

"Below Westfield Stratford shopping centre is the remains of the largest railway locomotive manufacturing and repair workshops in Europe. This made Stratford a world-leading site of engineering and innovation."
9 Stratford Works A.jpg
9 Stratford Works B.jpg