Who We Are

The Survey of London provides essential reading for anyone wishing to find out about the capital’s built environment. It is the leading reference work on the history of London and its buildings, internationally acknowledged for its authority and accessibility. Founded in 1894 by the Arts and Crafts architect C. R. Ashbee as a small volunteer project, and initiated with studies of parts of East London, the Survey has evolved into a detailed area-by-area chronicle of urban development, encompassing buildings of all types and periods.

Since Ashbee’s day the work of the Survey has been carried on under a succession of public bodies leading to the publication of 50 parish volumes and 18 monographs exploring the histories of a wide variety of London districts and monuments (for more background information please see  In 2013 the Survey of London became part of the Bartlett School of Architecture in University College London, from where it continues its detailed architectural and topographical research.

The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) is a research and teaching centre which, since 1995, has been at the cutting edge of research using mathematical methods and computing technology in geography, regional science, and urban systems theory. It is a centre in the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and runs two masters degrees, as well as undertaking PhD and postdoctoral research.

About the Project

In 2016, an in-depth study of Whitechapel was launched. Whitechapel is the inner fulcrum of London’s East End, a district with a long and rich history, currently in the throes of intense change. In an exciting departure and a return to the Survey’s founding ethos  that has been made possible by a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (reference AH/N00146X/1) and the involvement of the Bartlett Faculty’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, the Survey’s exploration of Whitechapel’s history is being rooted in this collaborative map-based website.

It is designed to involve the public (you) in compiling information about the area’s sites, to accommodate many voices for many histories. The aim is to bring together individual stories and knowledge about housing, commerce, religion and entertainment, wealth and poverty, dissent, reform and conflict, and more besides. Immigration is a primary historical fact in Whitechapel’s history, embracing over centuries German, Irish, East European, Jewish and Bengali Muslim settlements, among others. We warmly invite you to explore the website and to make your own contributions.