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, a collaborative work in progress made up of the Survey’s own research alongside material that you and everyone else has contributed.

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

East London Central Synagogue

East London Central Synagogue | Sharman Kadish | Feb. 17, 2020

The East London Central Synagogue or Nelson Street Sfardish Synagogue of 1922–3 is a remarkable survival and a late example of a ‘model synagogue’, designed by Digby Lewis Solomon for the Federation of Synagogues. The congregation began as an immigrant Hevrah, a Landsmanschaft from Berdichev in Poland, and has maintained great continuity of use. An unassuming red-brick exterior with ...

Clay pipe kiln

United Standard House | david2 | Nov. 29, 2019

During archaeological excavations of the "Boar's Head Playhouse" (an Elizabethan theatre, most of which is preserved and protected) I was a "relief supervisor" on this site, popping in on occasions that the archaeologist in charge (Heather Knight) had to attend to other duties.  So it was that I ended up supervising people digging up this 18th-century clay pipe kiln ...

Boar's Head Clay pipe kiln smoking

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.