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Learn more about famous and infamous London East End locations.

Stratford Langthorne Abbey History

We may not associate London’s East End with the posher side of the city, but at one point in history, it really was the place to be. The Abbey of St Mary’s, or as it is more commonly known, Stratford Langthorne Abbey was one of the most impressive buildings in the area for many centuries, playing host to kings and being involved in some major historical events.

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Stratford and East End History

Best known as the location for the 2012 London Olympics, Stratford is still proving a popular place for tourists to visit, even though the games are now over. The Olympic Park and new shopping centre may well be worth a visit in their own rights, but there is more to Stratford than this if you have time to look around.

Stratford’s early history

The first recorded mention of Stratford came in 1067.

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History of the Royal London Hospital

The Royal London is one of the best known hospitals in London, home to the London Air Ambulance Service. Historically, it is perhaps most associated with Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, although the hospital also has links to Jack the Ripper. One of its most famous medical students was Thomas Barnardo, who later became a highly regarded philanthropist and founder of the Barnardo’s children’s charity.

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History of Petticoat Lane Market

Located in the East End’s Spitalfields area, Petticoat Lane is one of the oldest and most famous markets in London. Over the years, the market has been best known for selling fashion and clothes, but it actually sells just about everything now, from designer goods to fruit and veg and bargain goods.

East End Markets – Petticoat Lane.

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Film and TV Facts – East London

The East End of London has featured as a location or setting for many films and TV shows over the years. Sometimes, these are filmed in odd locations recreated to look like the East End or on studio lots.

Other times, you can actually spot glimpses of the actual area in all its glory, or even spot some local famous people.

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Christ Church at Spitalfields History

The East End has not always had the best reputation, especially with people running the City of London who tended to think of its residents as being a bit beneath them. In the 1700s, moves were made to do something to bring people living on the outskirts of the City back in line.

Famous East End Churches – Christ Church at Spitalfields.

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The Geffrye Museum Shoreditch

Located in the East End’s Shoreditch, the Geffrye Museum combines charming displays on urban living through the ages with an insight into historic almshouse life in the area. This may not be one of London’s best known museums, but it is well worth a visit.

The Geffrye Museum is embarking on a transformational £18m development project – Unlocking the Geffrye.

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Historic East End Pubs – The Ten Bells

Located on Commercial Street in the East End’s Spitalfields area, the Ten Bells pub may not look all that extraordinary from the outside. Its grand Victorian days are still visible in its imposing façade, and it has listed building status, but there is more to the pub than this.

It has a very real history, especially if you’re interested in the exploits of Jack the Ripper!

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History of Millwall East London

Millwall is located on the west side of the Isle of Dogs in London’s East End. The area has a famous, or even infamous, football club and like many areas of the East End, strong connections with water-based trades.

The Origins of Millwall

Millwall was originally called Pomfret Manor and then Marshwall. Pomfret Manor is considered to be the earliest riverside base for a ferry across the Thames in the East End.

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Limehouse a Brief History of London

Limehouse got its name from the lime kilns in the area. These were used by potteries that crafted products for shipping companies and ships in the East End docks. Some also believe that the name referred to the sailors who disembarked from their ships in this area.

They were nicknamed “Limeys” or “Lime Juicers” as they had regular rations of lime juice when at sea to prevent scurvy.

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The Blind Beggar Pub, East London History

The Blind Beggar is one of the most famous pubs in the East End of London, if not in London itself, although some of its history is more infamous than famous. For some, it is most associated with local gangsters, the Kray twins, who audaciously murdered a criminal in its saloon bar.

Historic East End Pubs – The Blind Beggar


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History of The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping

Located in Wapping, the Prospect of Whitby is one of London’s oldest pubs, and it is thought by some to be the oldest riverside pub on the Thames.

There has been a pub on this site since the time of Henry VIII and the first pub was probably built in 1520. You can still see the original 400 year old flagged stone floor in the building and more modern,

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Shakespeare and Shoreditch Theatre

Although we tend to think that Shakespeare spent most of his time in The Globe theatre on the banks of the Thames, he actually spent a fair amount of time honing his writing skills and performing his plays in the heart of the East End of London. Before the Globe was built, Shakespeare was an East End boy spending most of his time working in Shoreditch.

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Historic Shoreditch in East London

Historians believe that Shoreditch got its name from water that ran across the area’s marshland. It was originally known as Soersditch, or Sewer’s Ditch. A more romantic, though untrue, meaning connects Shoreditch with royalty. Some people like to believe that the area was named after Jane Shore, who was a mistress of Edward IV.

She was allegedly buried in a ditch in the area.

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Bethnal Green, East London History

The first recorded names for Bethnal Green were Blithehale and Blythenhale. These could be translated as “happy corner”, although nobody is exactly sure where the name came from. Over time, the area became known as Blethenal Green and then Bethan Hall Green.

The current name for the area probably came from the local pronunciation of Bethan Hall Green, ultimately leading to the connecting of Bethan and Hall to Bethnal.

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Whitechapel History, East London

The East End’s Whitechapel may be most associated with Jack the Ripper, but there is more to this part of London than tales of his infamous crimes. Like many areas of the East End, Whitechapel made its mark on its own outside of the main city areas and it has an interesting, eclectic and varied history.

Places to Visit in the East End of London – Whitechapel.

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East London, a History of Bow

Legend has it that you can only be a true Cockney if you were born within the sound of Bow bells. You won’t, however, make a child a Cockney by camping close to Bow Church, as the legend actually relates to the bells of St Mary-le-Bow, which are in the City of London. You also won’t be able to trace the history of London’s first police force to Bow.

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Visit Wapping in Historic East London

Although badly damaged by bombing raids in the Blitz and affected by the closure of its docks industry, the East End’s Wapping area still has some little historical gems that are worth a visit. Wapping has been inhabited since Saxon times and has played a part in some of London’s more interesting moments.

Places to Visit in the East End of London –

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London Docklands, Canary Wharf History

London’s Docklands area has always played an important role in the wealth of the city and in the fortunes of the East End. Once the hub of imports and exports and manufacturing, this area is now home to one of the leading financial centres in the world.

Over the years, the Docklands have had their ups and downs, but the development at and around Canary Wharf has transformed this area and restored its role as a pivotal part of the capital’s fortunes.

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Historic Spitalfields in London’s East End

Spitalfields is one of the more curious areas of the East End of London. Close to Liverpool Street, it is the home to many financial industry workers by day, but it retains many of its traditional East End roots.

Places to Visit in the East End of London – Spitalfields

Like much of the East End, it has a fascinating history and plenty of things to see and do.

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The Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

If you’re looking for an East End museum that will really engage the kids, or fancy taking a trip down memory lane to your own childhood, then a visit to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is a must.

The V&A Museum of Childhood

The museum originally opened in 1872 as the Bethnal Green Museum – at this point,

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The History of Beckton Gas Works

The gasworks at Beckton in the borough of Newham played a major role in East End industry for over 100 years. Its story also illustrates just how this once thriving industrial area has declined and changed its focus. Formerly the largest gasworks in Europe, Beckton gasworks was in use from 1870 to 1969 when it closed down.

Beckton Gas Works

The site buildings and structure now no longer exist, but the gasworks has left some legacy in the area in the form of the Beckton Alps.

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Facts About London Underground

Eastenders who want to get into London or out into Essex have various tube lines to choose from. As well as using London Underground’s Central, District, Jubilee and Hammersmith and City lines, they can also access the glories of the Docklands on the Docklands Light Railway.

Fun Facts about East End Tube Lines and Stations.

Let’s look at some curious facts about the stations and lines you might be using if you use the tube in the East End.

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East London Markets

London’s East End is one of the city’s richest areas for markets. You can visit anything from traditional street markets selling fruit and veg and bargain basement products through to eclectic alternative markets that sell something different every week.

Explore East End Street Markets

Let’s look at some markets you really should be visiting if you make a trip to the East End.

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Eastenders TV Show Facts

One of the UK’s favourite TV soaps, Eastenders, is set in a fictional square in the East End of London. The program was first broadcast in 1985 and has remained one of the top three prime-time soaps ever since.

Over the years, all of the country has enjoyed watching the lives of fictional Eastenders as they go through all the trials,

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The Museum of London. Visitors Guide

Located in the Barbican, the Museum of London is, as its name suggests, a site dedicated to London.

The Museum of London

Like many other major museums in the capital, entry is free and this is the perfect spot for a either a quick browse through London’s history or a fascinating full day out.

History of the Museum of London

The current Museum of London opened in 1976.

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Brick Lane History, East London

London’s Brick Lane has a fascinating history and is one of the most popular places to visit in the East End today, especially on a Sunday when the street’s gets the area buzzing.

The East End’s Brick Lane

Sitting in the heart of the East End, Brick Lane was a poor slum area in the past; it was in the very heart of Jack the Ripper territory.

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Recent Comments

  • A.J.Spencer on London East End Street NamesI am looking for any information on Rosher Row ? It was still there in the 1960's as I remember taking my G/Friend of the time to meet my aunt Ett
  • JM Tubbs on Manchester Hotel | Aldersgate Street | WW2 PhotosMy great great grandfather Henry Thomas Tubbs and his business partner Joseph Lewis built this hotel and owned it for a time after it was opened. The initial cost in 1879 was around £70,000. It originally had 240 bedrooms but was expanded. There was a second main entrance on Long
  • JM Tubbs on Manchester Hotel | Aldersgate Street | WW2 PhotosYou could check the 1911 census. Either a subscription or a local studies library should have one you can use.
  • Charles Sage on History of Canning Town East LondonI was born in 1939 and lived in Beckton rd , I can rememember after the war going to the Queens theatre in poplar to see the variety shows , I think the compare was called Buttons,does anyone else remember the theatre.
  • Margaret Knight ( nee Key ) on The History of Beckton Gas WorksMy father was a stoker at the gas works and we lived in one of the company houses , 46 WinsorTerrace until I married in 1957,
  • Charles Sage on History of Canning Town East LondonPatlrick , We lived very close to Hermit rd after moving from Beckton rd in fact we drove along there this very day , we went to the cemetery to take flowers to put on my parents grave. To put it bluntly Canning Town is like a foreign country now
  • Naz on Alf Garnett East London’s Famous Resident.Barnet is not rhyming slang for Alf Garnett, it is rhyming slang for Barnett Fair, that piece of slang was in use well before Johnny Speight wrote TDUDP
  • Patrick Blake-Kerry on History of Canning Town East LondonMakes me laugh, the talk of hop picking as I ended up living in Hampshire as my mum and brother were bombed out and evacuated in 1940. They ended up in Bentley because it was the only place the driver knew outside London. Conversly having stayed and live in Bentley
  • Charlie sage on History of Canning Town East LondonHi Alfie Brown ! I remember the hop picking very well they were great times down China farm , the old huts lightig the fires going so mum could get dinner going , that long walk to the shop opposite the green hill, Bert doing the toilets , scrumping in
  • Carol Featherstone on Second World War Bombing Raid South Hallsville SchoolMy nan and grandad Pat and Emily Murphy were killed in the school leaving my mum an orphan at six she was brought up by her nan Lou McKay
  • Tim Conlan on History of Poplar East LondonGrindley and Co of 21 to 23 Broomfield Street, Poplar, London, E 1868 Company established. 1914 Tar and rosin distillers. Specialities: insulating and transformer oils, black varnishes, soluble drier preparations, motor and other greases.
  • Jane on History of Canning Town East LondonThank you, Ray, that's such a helpful reply - much appreciated.,
  • A.J.Spencer on London’s East End and The BlitzMy grand parents lived in Canning Town during the Blitz and I cannot find any trace of them on any records. I am looking especially pertaining to John William Spencer who lived at 66 Bidder St, Canning town in 1913
  • Ken Shelton on History of Canning Town East LondonHi there, I went to both of the Stratford Grammar Schools - the first one next to West Ham Park was just around the corner from where we lived, on Shirley Rd. I remember there was a tuck shop on the corner. Lots of memories from there - thanks for
  • Elaine Ford on History of Poplar East LondonDoes anyone know of a company called 'Grindleys' ? or similar, was based in Poplar in the 1940's (I believe) and was eventually pulled down. I'm writing a tribute for a gentleman who worked there, he was 99 years old. The family are not sure of the spelling of the

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