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

Central House in 2020

Central House, London Metropolitan University | Colin Buttimer | July 30, 2020

I did my part-time foundation at Cass in 1992. It was the most interesting and enjoyable educational experience I’ve had by a country mile – thanks to the married tutors Nicky and Nico, and Nicky’s brother Nick who taught us life drawing; and to my fellow students, one of whom I’m still friends with. We used to drink ...

John Jacobs

44 Alie Street | richard2 | July 21, 2020

As mentioned John Jacobs lived here with his family. He moved into the property in approx 1855 and lived there with his family until 1894 when he retired and moved to Stoke Newington. He ran his barber's shop from the ground floor and he and his wife Theresa had fourteen children whilst living there, twelve of which lived past ...

barber shops

The Freedmans - a family of Jewish tailors

43 New Road | caroline2 | July 13, 2020

The Freedman Family, Polish Jews who had been living in the Russian Empire, lived here between at least 1891 and 1901 (according to census records). The father, Barnett Freedman, was a tailor, and is variously listed in census records as a master tailor and a military tailor. His wife Bloomah (also called Ester) had nine children, most of whom also ...

1890 immigration Jewish tailor

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.