A public space hosting cafes, shops and pop-up events with Tower Bridge as its stunning backdrop.

With a colourful history of spice trading, pirate activity and Dickensian novels and overlooked by Tower Bridge, Shad Thames is an area of London that is rich in heritage.

A multi-purpose public space that boasts an exciting mix of cafes, shops and pop-up events on the former site of the original Courage Brewery.

“Centuries of spices had
infused the brickwork of
the building”

Catherine Bailey
The Secret Rooms


In December 1787 the Aberdonian John Courage purchased a brewhouse on this site.

The brewery was an expression of historical continuity, for brewing on the river has always been an important feature of London’s Thames-side, mentioned in Southwark by Chaucer and in Horselydown by Shakespeare.

Under the management of John Courage’s family, the brewery produced over half a million barrels each year in its prime and was established as Courage & Co. – one of the best-known names in British brewing.

Despite its success, the brewery closed its doors in the late 20th century and transferred production to Reading. During the same period, Shad Thames’ warehouses also closed, as goods had to be unloaded further east due to congestion and containerization, and the area instead became popular residential for artists.


Shad Thames was finally redeveloped in the mid-80s and 90s and began to thrive after the disused warehouses were converted into flats, offices, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

2016 marked the redevelopment of the largest public space in the Shad Thames area with the arrival of Courage Yard. Formerly known as Tower Bridge Piazza, the new name references the heritage of the location.

Today, the area is popular with residents and visitors alike thanks to its unique aesthetic, nearby landmarks and diverse offering.