Stepney and Mile End

   this post is not finished, checked or edited

Post to the west Whitechapel

Post to the east Stepney

Adelina Grove

Estate for people displaced by the London Wool Exchange building in 1929.

Albert Gardens

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 Paris'

Arbour Square

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 shooting gallery.

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

Barnardo Street.

In railway 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 Grove

Beaumont Square

Beaumont Street garden.  Land which London County Council rented in 1890 from Captain Beaumont.  

Brayford Square

A small pedestrian shopping area is an addition of 1978 replacing c19 buildings along Commercial Road.  

Bromley Street

Built up 1829-43 by Daniel Goody, similar terraces to Belgrave Street.

Between this and Belgrave Street a large 1990s development keeping to c19 pattern

Butcher Row

Ventilation Shaft to Rotherhithe Tunnel.  Cupola.  Spiral stairs down.  Same on the other side.  Nasty experience.  Concrete path from Glamis Road

Cable Street

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

Mineral spring found in 1745

Commercial Road

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 Mission grew 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 

Troxy CinemaNear 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 conversions.

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 1925).  

368 Some good early c19 details on remaining houses.  Stuccoed, was a bank, now surgery

Telephone 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 B   by 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 completed. 

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.

Deancross Street

Dean Swift pub called after him

Exmouth Street

Hannibal Road

Hardinge Street

Convent of Mercy by E. R.L. Curtis 1905-6; which provided teachers for the school in Johnson Street.  

Coburg Dwellings, also by Curtis four-storey tenements

The Ship, an attractive stucco-trimmed pub

Havering Street

Two-storey terraces remain on both sides.  A classic vision of the c19 East End.

Jamaica Street

Stifford Estate.  Draped Seated Woman by Henry Moore.  1958. Realistic for Moore at that period.

Johnson Street

Master's 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.

The other buildings mostly associated with the social and educational provision of the Anglican church of St Mary, Cable Street

All Saints 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

St Mary’s 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 developer A.M.  Calnan

61-7 two-storeyed houses with Mercers’ badge.  By Calnan

Jubilee Street

Juniper Street

Very little left apart from a few cobbles.

Lukin Street

Bishop Challoner School has a long history in this district.  

Mile End Gardens.

Holy Trinity 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 Navy.

Mile End Road

1754s Dr. John Condor dissenting academy

88 home 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 who       commanded 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.

29 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.

Montmorres Estate

1957-63 rebuilding of the badly bombed area around Avis Square.  

Pitsea Estate

Redman’s Road

Mile End Distillery rectifying firm from 1769.

Shandy Street Square

Recreation ground maintained by London County Council

Captain Beaumont rented to London County Council used to be East London Cemetery.  Closed on 29.9 each year.

Sidney Street

Wexford house on the site of 100.  scene of siege of criminals on 3 January 1911.  Late on 16 December 1910 the tenant of 119 Houndsditch, Harris, a jeweller, heard tappings at the back.  Police directed on houses backed on to Houndsditch.  Police cordon drawn round the buildings, and Sergeant 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 on the 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 Guards was then brought up, which began a process of sniping at the windows and roof of the house.  The house caught fire, and later charred remains, identified as those of Svaars and Joseph, were discovered amongst the ruins.  Three firemen were injured.  Winston Churchill, as Home Secretary, superintended.  

Stepney Causeway

Stepney Green

Stibenheath wild 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

2935 18th

37 ILEA careers centre Queen Anne

Stepney Way

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.

Stepney Causeway

Did Thames once come this far?  1870

8 Barnardo.  HQ there until 1969.  First home

Albert Square.  Space was a large in

Sutton Street

St.Mary and St.Michael’s School. 

Waterloo Place

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

Fish and Ring.  Legend of St. Mungo rescuing Queens honour by funding her ring taken by her lover in the mouth of salmon in the Clyde


Popular posts from this blog

Bromley by Bow

South Norwood

River Lea/Bow Creek Canning Town