Survey of London

Histories of Whitechapel

Histories of Whitechapel

Welcome to the Survey of London’s Whitechapel project, where you can share and explore the many histories of Whitechapel’s buildings and places.

On our map you’ll find information about every building in Whitechapel in 2016, including photographs, stories and research, film clips and audio recordings added by historians, local people and others with an interest in the area. It has grown in content since then up to 2019, a collaborative work in progress made up of the Survey’s own research alongside material that you and everyone else contributes.

This is an experiment in the making of the history of a place. Sharing our knowledge and experiences will help us to understand the histories of buildings, streets and neighbourhoods, and through them the lives of the people of Whitechapel. To start exploring, go to the map and click on a building to see content about that site, or you can explore buildings related to a particular historical period or theme.

If you have any information, research, images, or memories of Whitechapel, you can sign up and start contributing them here.

Stories Wanted

There are many buildings in Whitechapel about which we would welcome more information. If you know something, you can make an account or use the form below to tell us.

Latest Submissions

Potts and Hunt, gun makers

66 Leman Street | C. L. Barry | June 19, 2019

"Another firm associated with Confederate Enfield purchases was Potts & Hunt of London. Like most gun makers, Potts & Hunt produced Enfield rifles on contract for whichever side had the money to afford them. The firm worked through Colt (as agent) to fill a Union contract for 4,000 Enfield rifles with 24 gauge (.58 caliber) 40” polished barrels, like ...

gun makers

Nigel Taylor, the Tower Bell Foundry Manager at the time of its closure, recounts its working life

Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 32–34 Whitechapel Road | Nigel Taylor | May 30, 2019

My name is Nigel Taylor. I was born in Hampstead. I'm from London although my family is from Warwick. We moved out to Harrow Weald when I was fairly small, and we lived there until I was six. After that, we moved up to Oxfordshire, and that's where I think things started to happen. Because when I was ...

bell foundry foundry

Co-operative Wholesale Society Administrative Offices and Bank, 1 Prescot Street

1-7 Prescot Street | Rebecca Preston | March 29, 2019

Leonard Gray Ekins, FRIBA (1877–1948) worked all his adult life for the Co- operative Wholesale Society and served as London Branch Chief Architect from 1916 to 1942.1 In 1898–1903 he was assistant architect under F. E. L. Harris at Manchester and confirmed as Newcastle’s Branch Architect in 1905.2 Like Harris, Ekins employed the Hennebique system ...

Browsing the Map

If you're not sure about how to get started, we've made a short video to give you a quick overview.

Explore Whitechapel

Not sure where to begin? Click on a theme to start uncovering Whitechapel's past. Sites are being tagged if they connect with certain overlapping aspects of Whitechapel's history, according to the thematic categories identified here.