The first written mention of the Isle of Dogs is in the ‘Letters & Papers of Henry VIII’. There is a list of purchases, which includes: A hose for the Mary George, in dock at the Isle of Dogs, 10d. Brewer's 1898 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable attributes the name: "So called from being the receptacle of the greyhounds of Edward III. Some say it is a corruption of the Isle of Ducks, and that it is so called in ancient records from the number of wild fowl inhabiting the marshes." Other sources believe it might come from one of the following: a nickname of contempt; it was a "dog's life" for anyone forced to live on it. Thomas Nashe and Ben Jonson wrote a satirical play in 1597, which was a mocking attack on the island of Great Britain, titled The Isle of Dogs. Samuel Pepys referred to the "unlucky Isle of Dogs." Or the presence of Dutch engineers reclaiming the land from a disastrous flood. Or the presence of gibbets on the foreshore facing Greenwich. Or the original docks located here were used for firewood importation and the phrase is linked to "fire dogs", the cross-beams beneath a hearth fire, hence Isle of Dogs.Or the dogs of a later king, Henry VIII, who also kept deer in Greenwich Park. Again it is thought that his hunting dogs might have been kept in derelict farm buildings on the Island. Or the Isle of Dykes, which then got corrupted over the years.
The Island Gardens waterside park is notable for its spectacular cross-river view of the classical buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital, the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, with Greenwich Park forming a backdrop. The original Island Gardens DLR station was opened on 31 August 1987 as the southern terminus of the initial system. It was built adjacent to the site of the old North Greenwich railway station, the southern terminus of the Millwall Extension Railway. It was elevated with two platforms, each capable of accommodating a single car train. The station required significant rebuilding to allow the platforms to take three-car trains. The extension to Lewisham passes under the River Thames in a deep tube tunnel. This required a new station to be built slightly further away from the river, north of Manchester Road, and underground. The original station and the southern end of the connecting viaduct have since been demolished.
Connections: London Buses routes D3 and D7 and night route N550 serve the station.