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 many others have 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

Robert Rycroft the draper

75 Whitechapel High Street | RMH | Nov. 30, 2020

Robert Rycroft moved south from his Lincolnshire birthplace to be an errand boy at his uncle’s drapery business in Colnbrook. He then moved to 141 Whitechapel High Street as an apprentice draper before setting up in business himself at St. Pancras and getting married. Later he moved back to Whitechapel High Street to No. 79. before being forced to ...

Jack the Ripper local government emigration retail immigration 1880s shops

Marine Engineers Certificate

18 Ensign Street | stephen2 | Nov. 30, 2020

Reward for many years of study and sea service. 1982: Dept of Transport Certificate of Competency for Marine Engineering Officers ...

18 Ensign Street SJ Arnold Marine Engineer 1981 Certificate

J. Carter & Co., my grandfather's business

15 Dock Street | F_G_Bird | Nov. 26, 2020

My grandfather (also F. G. Bird), as J. Carter & Co., took on the lease of 15 Dock Street on the 1st January 1921. The immediate previous occupier was Smith's Tarpaulins of Hainault who used the middle block to stable their delivery horses. The buildings were owned by an old lady. I was given to suppose (true or false ...


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.