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

Tower House (former Rowton House), 81 Fieldgate Street

Tower House, 81 Fieldgate Street | Rebecca Preston | Sept. 18, 2018

With its distinctive roofline and seven storeys rising sixty feet above ground level, Tower House is a local landmark and towered above its neighbours when first built. Initially called Rowton House, Whitechapel, the building opened in August 1902 and was the fifth of six ‘Rowton Houses’ established in London between 1892 and 1905 to provide decent, low-cost accommodation for single ...

Harry Bell Measures Richard Farrant

Visiting Wilton's

Wilton's Music Hall | John Earl | Sept. 5, 2018

Some years ago I was taking a mixed group of American second year historic preservation and theatre students on a full day tour of old London theatres, back stage and front of house, finishing with Wilton’s – then dark, silent and colder than the world outside. On arrival it began to rain and no one had appeared to unlock the ...

The draw of English Martyrs

Roman Catholic Church of the English Martyrs | interviewer2 | July 3, 2018

Interview with a parishioner, 'V', on 29th June 2018 Parishioner V: I have lived in this parish and attended English Martyrs Church for nearly forty years. However, my family's connection goes much further back - to the late 19th Century, and the years when Tower Hill was developing as a parish. My maternal grandparents lived here: my grandfather was a ...

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.