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 will grow in content gradually until the end of 2018, 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

United Standard House

United Standard House | ewan | Oct. 19, 2018

Designed by J. Ockwell, an associate with R. Seifert & Partners. c.1960.


Only memorial to Frederick Treves in Whitechapel

Treves House, Vallance Road | Louis Berk | Sept. 28, 2018

Treves House appears to be the only local memorial to Sir Frederick Treves (1853-1923), the Victorian/Edwardian notable surgeon of the nearby London Hospital, who identified and assisted Joseph Merrick, otherwise known as the Elephant Man (1862-1890). In later life Treves rose to be the leading surgeon in the UK for the procedure of removal of the appendix and is ...

medicine Treves Elephant Man Merrick

English Martyrs: the heart of the community (by Cathy J)

Roman Catholic Church of the English Martyrs | interviewer2 | Sept. 26, 2018

Five generations of our family have worshipped and attended school at English Martyrs, Tower Hill, and we are of German-Irish origin. Our grandparents were married there in December 1911. Our grandfather was baptised in the German Lutheran Church in Alie St, and he converted later to the Catholic faith. Our Mum and Dad - Jerry & Eva Bills - were also married ...

Catholic WW2; German; Irish;

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.