Survey of London: Whitechapel

Toynbee Hall was an appropriate place for the launch of the new two volumes devoted to Whitechapel which have been in gestation since 2015, helped by a brilliant interactive website which contains all the information in the two volumes and more besides; but the official publication in hard covers still gives a sense of scholarly authority and finality to the enterprise, as well as an opportunity to see Whitechapel as a whole instead of as a series of individual places.

It’s good that it’s been done as the area has been subject to such an amazing amount of change: coming out of the west entrance of Aldgare East, one is faced by a new American city with scarcely any vestige of what was there before, including even the street layout. But I presume that the process of change is all now meticulously recorded.

The original hall opened in January 1885, designed by Elijah Hoole – ‘a manorial residence in Whitechapel’:-

Next door is a discrete intervention – I think by Richard Griffiths, but the Survey is less good on the new than the old:-

Beyond is the new town, stamping out any sense of history:-


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