East End of London

From Academic Kids

The term East End is most commonly used to refer to the East End of London.

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Christ Church, Spitalfields



The term East End was first applied to the districts immediately to the east of, and entirely outside, the mediaeval walled City of London. These included Whitechapel and Stepney. By the late 19th century the East End roughly corresponded to the metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green, Poplar and Shoreditch, which correspond to the modern boroughs of Tower Hamlets and part of Hackney).

The East End is an informal designation, and has no fixed boundaries. It is however to the north of the River Thames. Since 1900 development has spread far into districts which were formerly in the county of Middlesex, but are now in Greater London. Parts or all of Newham are sometimes considered to be in the East End, however the River Lee is often considered to be the eastermost boundary of the area and this definition would exclude the borough but place it at the heart of East London.


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Brick Lane

The East End has always been one of the poorest areas of London. The main reasons for this include the undesirability of living in the direction of the prevaling wind from the city centre in the days of open fires, the large amount of low paid employment in the docks and related industries, and the location of the court and political centre of London on the opposite western side of the City of London. Throughout history the area has absorbed waves of immigrants who have each added a new dimension to the culture and history of the area. Most notably these have been the French protestant Huguenots, the Jews and the Bangladeshi community. Whilst these immigrants have enriched both the area and the country, the East End has also been a focus for racism in Britain. Racist events include the anti-Catholic Gordon riots in 1780, an anti-semitic Fascist march in 1936 (which was famously abandoned when blocked by a larger force of locals; c.f. the Battle of Cable Street), and recent anti-Asian violence, including a council seat win for the 'far right' British National Party in 1993 (since lost), and a 1999 pub bombing in Brick Lane.

In 1888 the area became notorious as the site of the crimes of Jack the Ripper. In 1911 it was the site of the Sidney Street Siege, and in the 1960s it was the area most associated with gangster activity, most notably that of the Krays.

Traditionally the home of London's docks and a large part of its industry, especially industries based on processing foodstuffs and other inported raw materials, the area was a continuous target during the blitz of World War 2. Much of what little housing remained was removed as part of 'slum clearance' programmes. Post war, specifically 1960s, architecture dominates the housing estates of the area. From the mid 20th century, the docks declined in use and they are now all closed. London's main port is now at Tilbury outside the boundary of Greater London.


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Redevelopment of Isle of Dogs

The East End is now home to various urban regeneration projects, most notably Canary Wharf, a huge commercial and housing development on the Isle of Dogs. Many of the 1960s tower blocks have been demolished or have been renovated. The area around Old Spitalfields market and Brick Lane has been extensively regenerated and is famous, amongst other things, as London's curry capital. As well as being the home of a lot of London's art gallerys including the famous White Cube in Hoxton Square as well as other smaller gallerys

With rising costs elsewhere in the capital the East End has become a desirable place for business.


The film To Sir, with Love and the BBC soap opera EastEnders is set here.

The song "East End Girl" by the Oi band Cock Sparrer praises a working class girl from the east end of London.

See also

Compare to West End of London.

External links

Greater London | London Flag of England

London boroughs : Barking and Dagenham | Barnet | Bexley | Brent | Bromley | Camden | City of London | Croydon | Ealing | Enfield | Greenwich | Hackney | Hammersmith and Fulham | Haringey | Harrow | Havering | Hillingdon | Hounslow | Islington | Kensington and Chelsea | Kingston | Lambeth | Lewisham | Merton | Newham | Redbridge | Richmond | Southwark | Sutton | Tower Hamlets | Waltham Forest | Wandsworth | Westminster

Greater London Authority | London Assembly | Mayor of London

pl:East End



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