London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
Estate for people displaced by the London Wool Exchange
building in 1929.
Formerly Albert Square.Ruined by GLC with new buildings another development responding to the creation
of the new road.
Drinking Fountain.In the gardens, iron plinth surmounted by an
Arcadian figure of reaper with sheaf and sickle.Dated 1903 by 'Fonderies d'art du Val D'Orne
The side of the square was acquired in 1921 by the Borough of Stepney
who proposed to build a grand town hall.Instead, the site was developed with flats:
Tower Hamlets College was Raine’s Foundation School,
secondary school 1719 by Brewer Henry Raine.Buildings were in Raine Street.1977 amalgamated with St.Jude’s. 18th with a motto stone and
children’s statues.1913 by Herbert 0.Ellis.Assembly
hall on the first floor with classrooms and workshops above, and an attic
Arbour House, by B.J. Belsher, the Borough Surveyor, 1937
C19 terraces remain
St Thomas (demolished 1955) by George Smith and William Barnes, 1838
replaced by flats
arches.Private bus co. garage.1920s. Central Buses to Southend.Became Southend Coach Co.
Barnardo Gardens Estate
A three-storey block of 1957, the
rest 1969-71.Three to six storeys, buff
brick with exposed floors, with private gardens Dr Barnardo founded his
first boy’s home in Stepney Causeway in 1870.
Beaumont Street garden.Land which London County
Council rented in 1890 from Captain Beaumont.
A small pedestrian shopping area is
an addition of 1978 replacing c19 buildings along Commercial Road.
Built up 1829-43 by Daniel Goody,
similar terraces to Belgrave Street.
this and Belgrave Street a large 1990s development keeping to c19 pattern
to Rotherhithe Tunnel.Cupola.Spiral stairs down.Same on the other side.Nasty experience.Concrete path from Glamis Road
Sun Tavern Fields
gas works.Between Hardinge Street &
Johnston Street site of 1817 Ratcliffe Co. Commercial Gas Company 1875.Cut in half by London & Blackwall so
works moved.Southern bit a gasholder
station until Commercial.A
found in 1745
Built by the East India
Company in 1800 in order to
provide direct access to the newly constructed West India Docks across what had
previously been known as Stepney Field.It followed the line of White Horse
Lane.James Walker was the Engineer. Because
of increasing heavy traffic a granite Stoneway was laid from 1829-30 to carry
the heavy traffic.Had to pay a Toll to
use it.The stretch from Church Lane to
Gardiner’s Corner was not opened until 1870 and the work was done by the
Metropolitan Board of Works.At the centre of Dockland it is very cosmopolitan
and never lacks interest..
Methodist Missiongrew out of the
Wesleyan Seamen's Mission.Since 1907
the East End Mission has had purpose-built premises on the Commercial Road,
Stepney.A few years ago the bronze bust
of Peter Thompson was stolen from the entrance hall.The insurance money paid for a piece of
sculpture in the sanctuary
Cinema. Near Stepney Station opened in 1933 and probably the largest in East
London, seating 3,000 people. By George
Coles and Arthur Roberts, `tripartite front in pale faience with strong
horizontal patterning. Unusually lavish
auditorium, designed for 3,000, in French Art Deco style. . Two large panels of cascading fountains flank
the proscenium, panels at the rear are inset with dancing figures and between
them smaller fountains in bowl light
fittings. Well preserved despite
White Swan Pub
faced White Horse Lane and its garden and yard were taken to make up the route
of Commercial Road
Brewer's Tap, c19
Royal Duke, 1879 by W.E.Williams,
Royal Duchess homely post-war
495-517 Mercers' housing slightly grander,
Rochelle Court flats and shops 1938, described as 'the first of its kind for people in good circumstances
residing in Stepney. A small group of flats over shops.
384-96 Steel's Lane Health Centre.Began in 1889 as the East End Mothers Home
extending into neighbouring houses in 1908 and, later, to adjacent premises
built as the Church Training College Lay Workers, by Young & Hall, 1898 (altered
368 Some good early c19 details on remaining
houses. Stuccoed, was a bank, now
Exchange.Dignified.Built 1934-5 by the Office of Works.
Exmouth Estate acquired gradually in the 1950s
by the GLC. The c19 street pattern was
replaced by an extensive estate with linked four and five-storey slabs of flats
and maisonettes among lawns. It
stretches to Clark Street
George Tavern.Built mid c19 and set prominently on the corner of Jubilee Street.Probably by James Harrison, 1862 with
alterations by R.A. Lewcock, 1891
St Mary and St Michael R.C.
1856 Bby Pugin's pupil W.W. Wardell,
repaired by A. V Sterrett after war damage. One of the first major c19 R.C.
churches in the East End, and the largest, successor to a c18 R.C. chapel in
Virginia Street, Wapping. An ambitious stone-faced building, with high, rather
bleak clerestoried nave of eleven bays. The intended tower was begun but never
the chapel of
Stepney Martyrs, painted altarpiece with two scenes in relief, with stained
glass of martyrs above. Chapel windows also with post-war glass. The first of a group of Catholic foundations
built to serve the Irish population of southern Stepney in the c19.
Dean Swift pub
called after him
of Mercy by E. R.L. Curtis 1905-6; which provided teachers for the school in
Dwellings, also by Curtis four-storey tenements
an attractive stucco-trimmed pub
Two-storey terraces remain on both
sides.A classic vision of the c19 East
Seated Woman by Henry Moore.1958. Realistic
for Moore at that period.
Lodge.Bishop Challoner’s School's c19
predecessor.Converted for flats in
1985-6 by George Watt Partnership.The
earlier, vaguely Gothic, part of 1854 comprised a church and schools.Partially rebuilt and extended in 1905 to
three and five storeys with a roof play- ground.The schools were associated with the Virginia
Street and the buildings may have been used as a chapel of ease while St Mary
and St Michael, Commercial Road, was under construction.
buildings mostly associated with the social and educational provision of the
Anglican church of St Mary, Cable Street
Court and St Mary's Clergy House, a symmetrical group with gabled wings and
cut-away corner balconies.1990s, built
on the site of the c19 National Schools for St Mary’s and Christ Church.c. 1840 by George Smith, surveyor to the
Mercers’ Company, whose badge is prominent?
St.Mary 1848-50, an early work by Frederick J.
Francis. A mission church in a very poor area, founded by William Quekett,
Vicar Of Christ Church, Watney Street, and paid for by Lord Haddo, son of the
Earl of Aberdeen.
Church Hall three storeys, with quite arresting
exterior of brick and glass; 1991 by Tom Hornsby
Mission Hall, later acquired by the Catholic Church as a Memorial to Cardinal
Vaughan, and renamed 'Our Lady’s Hall’.The figure of the Virgin in a canopied niche may date from this
time.1906-7, by R.L. Curds for local builder
two-storeyed houses with Mercers’ badge.By Calnan
Very little left apart from a few cobbles.
Challoner School has a long history in this district.
bought 1 1/4 acres from London County Council in 1887.Opened by Princess Henry of Battenburg 9/5.
Trinity almshouses, “quaintest group now left in London.”They are to a seventeenth-century plan behind
an enclosing wall and spiked railings that screen them from the public
view.They were built in 1695 for 28
decayed masters and commanders of ships or their widows, on land given by
Captain Harvey Mudd of Ratcliff, who was an Elder Brother of the Trinity
House.Badly damaged in the blitz. The
attractive rows of dwellings, extended in the 19th century, were badly damaged by
bombing, but have been taken over by the L.C.C. Trinity
Almshouses.Land private by
H.Redden.Trinity 1890 Corporation asked
to demolish them and permission refused.Bombed 194l.In addition, rebuilt
by London County Council and chapel has 18th panels form Brasenose
House on it.Built for daughters of
Masters of ships and statue of Captain Hayles, Captain Sands.Chapel bombed.Sir Thomas Spet Comptroller of the Tudor
Mile End Road
1754s Dr. John
Condor dissenting academy
88home of Captain Cook after 1764.London County Council plaque.Cook, the great explorer and adventurer,
lived in No.7 Assembly Row, behind No.88. It was placed on the only remaining
wall of the original construction, demolished in 1959. This was where his wife
Elizabeth lived until 1788 when she moved to Clapham. James Cook Explorer,
navigator, cartographer and botanist whocommanded three great voyages of exploration to the Pacific and the
Southern Ocean. The house was demolished in a clearance scheme by the LCC after
the Second World War.
Roland House purchased in 1914 for the Boy Scouts Association, is now a centre for
scouting in the East End and an international hostel
253 rear of the Beth Holim, is a
secluded little burial ground granted to the Jewish fraternity in London by
Cromwell in 1657.
1957-63 rebuilding of the badly
bombed area around Avis Square.
Distillery rectifying firm from 1769.
maintained by London County Council
rented to London County Council used to be East London Cemetery.Closed on 29.9 each year.
Wexford house on the site of 100.scene of siege of criminals on 3 January1911.Late on
16 December 1910 the tenant of 119 Houndsditch, Harris, a jeweller,heard tappings at the back.Police directed on houses backed on toHoundsditch.Police cordon drawn round the buildings, andSergeant Bentley knocked on the door, which was opened
by Gardstein, whereupon Bentley and Sergeant Tucker were shot dead.Gardstein was found dead the following day with papers, which threw
light onthe ringleader, Peter
the Painter, and others.On 2 January 1911, they took refuge at 100 Sidney Street, at daybreak the two called upon to
surrender.Inspector Leeson was
killed.Detachment of Scots Guardswas then brought up, which began a process of sniping
at the windowsand roof of the
house.The house caught fire, and later
charred remains,identified as those of
Svaars and Joseph, were discovered amongst theruins.Three firemen were injured.Winston Churchill, as Home Secretary,
heath name. Richard II parlayed with John Ball & Wat Tyler.Henry VIII archway.Sales of pennyroyal.1665 plague pit.Also Jack Cade’s men at Mile End.1471 falconry.HenryVI in tower. Pleasant public gardens.
Stepney buns with ale and cider. Mile End Green on old maps
37 ILEA careers
centre Queen Anne
Stepping Stones Farm, very nice. Started in 1979, this 4 acre farm has been described as
"The Jewel of Stepney". The whole site is easily accessible yet has
lots of little private corners. It has a full range of farm animals — pigs,
goats, sheep and cattle, plus assorted small animals like rabbits and chickens,
ducks and geese.
Did Thames once
come this far?1870
8 Barnardo.HQ there until 1969.First home
Square.Space was a large in
St.Mary and St.Michael’s School.
William Whittle Johnson was a painter and glazier in Ratcliff in east London. His sons,
William Whittle and Robert, continued the business adding plumbing to these
trades. They established their first works off Commercial Road in Limehouse, in
1824 to make lead sheet and lead pipe. In the 1880s the works began rolling
lead foil for lining tea chests. This was always a "blue lead" works
and was closed in 1903 following the merger, in 1894, with Locke, Lancaster
& Co. The site was then redeveloped
White Horse Road
Original road ran
from the church and Derans Row plus a windmill.Then bent between Sutton Street and Lucas Street to avoid Handman’s
Acre.Ended at Stepney Causeway,
Colet Arms.Named after Dean Colet founder of St Paul’s
School who lived there
Ring.Legend of St. Mungo rescuing
Queens honour by funding her ring taken by her lover in the mouth of salmon in
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis