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

Sugar in the Square

Shapla Primary School | Bryan Mawer | April 14, 2018

In the early 1750s, on the SW corner of the school site, stood the sugarhouse of John Arney. It backed onto Well Street (Ensign Street), though its address for much of the time was 27 Wellclose Square and it was approached through an alley between Nos. 28 & 26.1 The risk of fire was great in the trade and ...

sugar refinery industry sugarhouse sugar

A unique footprint

Camperdown House | Bryan Mawer | April 11, 2018

Tucked away in the archive of the late Bristol sugar researcher Mr I. V. Hall at Bristol Archives is a simple plan, dated 1856, of the sugarhouse generally listed as 27 Great Alie Street.1 For the most part it was owned by the Craven and Bowman families and was built among the other refineries in Alie Street, Duncan Street ...

industry sugar sugarhouse

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.