Surveying Whitechapel

I very much enjoyed Peter Guillery’s online description of the origins of the Survey of London in C.R. Ashbee’s decision to document the history of the Trinity Hospital on the Mile End Road as a way of recording local history and establishing the importance of memory and local community against the trend of massive new construction; and its relationship to their decision to go back to Whitechapel for their forthcoming two volumes which will document, not least, the history of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry for which they did important documentary research. Its record of the area round Aldgate will be invaluable because so much is unrecognisable from what it was like even five years ago: even the streets have changed, vast tower blocks have gone up, so that it is hard to remember what it was like before.

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