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 June 2019, 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

Social, political and cultural activity in the Co-operative Wholesale Society's premises in and around Leman Street

Sugar House, 99 Leman Street | Rebecca Preston | March 29, 2019

From its early days the Co-operative Wholesale Society organised social and educational activities for its staff and hosted meetings and other events, and later on leased property to co-operative and other organisations with whom it shared interests and values. At the suggestion of Mrs Benjamin Jones, wife of the London Branch manager, the first meeting of the Women’s Co-operative ...

Co-operative Wholesale Society Administrative Offices and Bank, 1 Prescot Street

1-7 Prescot Street | Rebecca Preston | March 29, 2019

Leonard Gray Ekins, FRIBA (1877–1948) worked all his adult life for the Co- operative Wholesale Society and served as London Branch Chief Architect from 1916 to 1942.1 In 1898–1903 he was assistant architect under F. E. L. Harris at Manchester and confirmed as Newcastle’s Branch Architect in 1905.2 Like Harris, Ekins employed the Hennebique system ...

Expansions on Prescot Street for the tea office and coffee works (demolished)

100 Leman Street | Rebecca Preston | March 29, 2019

In 1925 L. G. Ekins designed a small, shallow two-storey extension to the tea department warehouse, extending two bays from the main building along Prescot Street with a third reaching over the original entrance to the yard.1 By 1934 he was planning three much larger steel-framed blocks, a coffee works and separate tea offices on the sites of 62 ...

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.