Explored # 392 on 16-jul-2011
Hay's Galleria is named after its original owner, the merchant Alexander Hay, who acquired the property - then a brewhouse - in 1651. In around 1840 John Humphrey Jnr acquired a lease on the property. He asked William Cubitt (who was father-in-law to two of Humphrey's sons) to convert it into a 'wharf', in fact an enclosed dock, in 1856 and it was renamed Hay's Wharf.
During the nineteenth century, the wharf was one of the chief delivery points for ships bringing tea to the Pool of London. At its height, 80% of the dry produce imported to London passed through the wharf, and on this account the Wharf was nicknamed 'the Larder of London'. The Wharf was largely rebuilt following the Great Fire of Southwark in June 1861 and then continued in use for nearly a century until it was badly bombed in September 1940 during the Second World War. Trade declined drastically after the Second World War and the surrounding area became increasingly economically depressed.