London Custom House

Custom House .—This important building, situated on the north bank of the Thames, between London Bridge and the Tower, occupies a site on which other and smaller custom houses had previously stood.  The east and west ends of the present structure were finished in 1817 by Mr. Laing; but the central portion was rebuilt afterwards from the designs of Sir Robert Smirke.  The river front is extensive, and although not architecturally fine, the general appearance is effective.  One of the few broad terraces on the banks of the Thames is that in front of the Custom House; it is a good position from whence strangers can view the shipping in the river.  The ‘Long Room' in this building is 190 feet long by 66 broad.  By way of illustrating the enormous amount of business done here, we may mention, that in the years 1867–68, the amount of Customs' receipts collected in the port of London was more  than Billingsgate, Coal Exchange, and Custom House.  (Fenchurch
Station, behind at the right.)that of all the other ports  of Great Britain  taken together, and five times that of the whole of Ireland.  In 1867, the port of London gross receipts were £10,819,711; and in 1868, £10,694,494.  The vast Customs' duties for the port of London, amounting to nearly half of those for the whole United Kingdom, are managed here.