Do you plan on visiting the East part of London? Then, you should mark your map for Whitechapel London. This destination is your chance of exploring one of the most beautiful parts of London. Filled with restaurants, crafty shops, and galleries. Whitechapel is ideal for everyone.
Whitechapel is a district in East London. It is home to a multicultural population. Whitechapel London is known for its dark past. The first thing that strikes your mind when you hear Whitechapel London is, of course, Jack the Ripper, or maybe Joseph Merrick. Well, isn’t this the place where these cases occurred?
The history of Whitechapel, London, might surely scare you, but its sordid days are gone forever. Certainly, it is now becoming one of the favorite tourist spots for visitors. If by chance you are in London, don’t forget to plan on spending a few hours in this vibrant and multicultural town and witness its liveliness.
This place derived its name from St Mary Matfelon Church, which was the main part of the city in earlier times. ‘Matfel’ is a Jewish or Syrian term that means ‘women delivered a son’.
Thereby, it was believed that the church belonged to the Virgin Mary, who is the mother of the holy god Jesus Christ. The church was demolished during World War II in an incident called ‘the blitz’ and replaced by a cemetery. Now, we can see a beautiful park named Aftab Ali Park.
1. History of Whitechapel London
Before the 16th century, Whitechapel was a part of London that too many people didn’t know about or saw as a desirable place. Moreover, the streets of Whitechapel had businesses like slaughterhouses, tanneries, and breweries. The roads were polluted and filled with dirt.
1.1. Period of Industrialization
Then, the era of industrialization emerged. Whitechapel started bustling with people. East London became the residence of many people with the establishment of industries. After all, cities promised work in that period, and most of the people with failed crops would rush into cities to make money.
As a consequence of more people coming into the city, the streets of Whitechapel found themselves getting overcrowded. The larger the population, the higher the perceived crime rates and the more the fresh air is filled with fumes and smoke.
1.2. Victorian Era
In Victorian London, people emerged from countries like Ireland, and Israel. Hence, immigration diversified the population. The majority of the Whitechapel population is composed of Jewish and Irish people.
Furthermore, poverty compelled women to turn to prostitution. In the late 1880s, there were about 1200 prostitutes.
1.3. The Murder Reign
In 1881–1891, the street in Whitechapel became famous for murders. You might have heard of Jack the Ripper. Whitechapel was the place where Jack committed all his murders. Take away the lives of people. He was the killer of five prostitutes. Although his identity is still unknown, his mention sends chills down the spine.
In addition to this, there is another well-known personality who brought light to Whitechapel in the east end of London. He was called the elephant man. Yes, the elephant man used to reside here.
He was the man who had a disfigured face, and undoubtedly his countenance was the reason more people would explore the Whitechapel. He was showcased at Whitechapel Road until one of the people named Dr. Frederick Treves provided him with care and shelter at the Royal London Hospital.
1.4. 20th Century
In the warmer months of the 20th century, Whitechapel became the center of revolutionaries and anarchists.
The year 1911 saw the beginning of the siege of Sydney, during which police, the military, and a group of Latvian revolutionaries became involved in gunfights. It was a battle against capitalism, the exploitation of workers, and infant mortality, and also to end poverty.
The terrifying history of Whitechapel found peace with the end of World War II. After the war ended, the conditions improved, except for one more terrorizing murder. Three teenagers murdered a man named Aftab Ali because he was a Paki. Aftab Ali was a Bangladeshi textile worker.
On his way back home after giving his vote, he was stabbed by the boys. The actions of these children were motivated by their racist attitudes.
The crime occurred in St. Mary’s Park, which, after Aftab Ali’s death, is known as Aftab Ali Park. Besides, it is the only park in London that is named after a Bengali.
2. Recent Years
The present-day Whitechapel is filled with diverse cultures and vibrance. The Whitechapel Market is famous for all the Asian food. Fantastic clothes and home goods can also be seen.
There are a lot of Pubs, galleries, museums, and restaurants to explore and visit. Surely, there are a lot of things to do in this part of London. The only thing that it lacks is your presence and smiles.
3. Things To Do In Whitechapel London
Well, Whitechapel, London, is filled with a lot of fun activities to do. Even with its dark past, it has moved away from such sad events and is thriving.
Today a lot of visitors spend their time in this vibrant city to explore the different markets, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. So, here’s a list of the best things you could do on Whitechapel Street.
3.1. Track Down The Murderer
More than 125 years have passed, and there is no clue as to who Jack the Ripper is. The police have been investigating and trying to find clues that would help in identifying the murderer of the victims ever since. Won’t it be fascinating to be a part of this puzzle?
Here at Whitechapel, you get the opportunity to walk down his path. See the streets and lanes that he might have walked on. These walking tours are made knowledgeable with the help of a tour guide, and not to forget, you are also joining the police, to whom you can give your ideas and your inputs regarding the case.
3.2. Amaze Your Eyes In Whitechapel Gallery
Are you an art enthusiast? If yes, then Whitechapel Gallery will blow your mind. As you walk down the hallway of the Whitechapel art gallery, you will find works from different corners of the world.
Surely, these impressive works strike one’s mind with inspiration and wonder. The famous painters Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Hannah Hoch premiered in this art gallery.
The ancient building is enriched with art education. There are several exhibitions, talks, and other events held in this gallery space. You can enjoy the sophisticated paintings on all days except Mondays. Therefore, if you are in Whitechapel, don’t miss out on this amazing art gallery.
3.3. Bow Down To Pray In East London Mosque
East London Mosque is situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It symbolizes the diversity which matches the diverse population. Since the years of industrialization and World War II, many immigrants have made Whitechapel their home.
This London Muslim center is known for its education and its birthday and marriage services. Also, one can hear the namaz that is chanted. It helps you experience the feeling of holiness. Hence, before leaving the streets of Whitechapel, don’t forget to see this abode of Allah.
3.4. Discover Jack the Ripper in Museum
Pay a visit to the Jack the Ripper Museum if the murder incident has piqued your interest. The information at the museum will help you feed your curiosity. The museum takes you back to 1888 in London.
Undoubtedly, it helps you discover the terror in the minds of the people living in the East End of London. The museum gives you all the details you need to know about the ripper, its victim, and all those who were suspected. With all the details in the museum, do you think you will be able to solve this most terrifying unsolved crime?
3.5. Perceive The Unforgettable at Spitalfields Market
If indoor markets are your favourite, then Spitalfields Markets will surely steal your heart. It is one of the best places to find vintage accessories, clothes, and jewelry. The whole market helps you get funky vibes.
You need to walk a little bit walk away from Whitechapel to reach Spitalfields Market. It’s really close and indeed worth the effort. So, swing in this market once for shopping or just to view the fantastic indoor market of London. While walking down the Spitalfield Market, you will find that each shop has items with a story.
3.6. Experience The British Music Hall
Wilton’s Music Hall is one of the buildings built during the British Empire. The hall is a grand structure in the back alley. You can just walk in to attend the events taking place there or just have a sip of beer.
Stepping into this hall certainly brings you back to the times of the British. Here, you have to purchase your tickets to get past the guards. It’s one of the music halls that are showcased in popular movies of Sherlock Holmes.
3.7. History of The Royal London Hospital Museum
Explore the medical history of the Royal London Hospital, which once was the home of Joseph Merrick. The museum contains all the medical knowledge and also houses many archives, books, nursing equipment, uniforms, and medals.
3.8. Pass The Ways of Traitors
Formerly known as the ‘Water Gate’, the Traitor’s Gate was once a residence before becoming the home of prisoners. All those who were accused of treason were brought to this tower of London by water.
The traitor’s gate is a pretty short tour and, thereby, won’t take much of your time. Therefore, exploring this ancient house of prisoners will allow you to get to know a piece of their lives.
3.9. Experience The Experience
Experience lets you enjoy and have fun with your peers. You will be up against your friends, competing to throw axes at the bull’s eye.
Besides, if you don’t know how to do it, then there’s no need to panic. They have their expert teams ready for your rescue. Their guidance and help will let you throw the axe like a pro. Once you master it, the game is on!
3.10. Secret Studio
One great place that you can’t miss during your stay is Secret Studio. Travelling is one healthy way of escaping reality and the stresses of life, and so are escape rooms. Secret Studio is one of the best puzzle games you’ve ever stepped into.
These exit rooms not only help you escape the monotony of life but also challenge your thinking patterns and the time you take to solve the puzzle. Once you enter Secret Studio, you are surely ticked to solve all the puzzles that will help you win the game.
3.11. The Real London at Budget
Explore the art of London on this fantastic tour, where you get to see all the murals and graffiti on the walls of the street. These paintings are part of the culture of London.
The tour guide on the whole tour provides people with guidance about these paintings. Alternative London allows you to explore a new artistic side of London that you have never seen before.
3.12. Sugar Rush
If you are a candy lover, then Spun Candy should be on your list. They don’t just provide you with sweet and delicious candies; they also teach you how to make them. Spun Candy help and guide its customers through each step.
With their help, you surely are going to make your best candy with fewer mistakes and more sweetness. This ensures that the first candy you make is special and delights you. Well, in Whitechapel, turn your candy cravings into delicious realities.
3.13. Experience The Joy of Peace at St. Botolph’s Aldgate
The streets of St. Botolph’s Aldgate Church were once haunted by the murders committed by Jack the Ripper. But now, the streets provide the calmness and stillness one long in life.
This parish church was once known as a prostitutes’ church because ladies would try to attract their clients. St. Botolph’s Aldgate Church is an iconic place if you want to attain a few moments of peace in your journey.
3.14. Shop at Brick Lane Market
Shopping is an essential part of our lives, as is traveling. Don’t you want to buy a memento that reminds you of your fantastic trip to Whitechapel? Brick Lane Market is surely your one-stop shop for all the shopping you need to do in Whitechapel.
This Whitechapel market has various shops selling all the vibrant objects that will bring smiles not just to your face but also to your heart. You can find clothes, accessories, jewelry, and household goods. This street is filled with delicious food and is a hub for the Bangladeshi community.
3.15. Beauty in Leyden Gallery
The eyes want to perceive what they want to perceive. Therefore, visit the Leyden Gallery, where you can set your eyes on both traditional and modern art and see what you can make out of it. The gallery space is well known for hosting events and performances.
It is established between Square Miles and Spitalfields. You should go check out this amazing art gallery when you are planning to go to Spitalfields Market. Also, if you are lucky enough, you will be able to catch their show, in which they showcase some of the most beautiful paintings coming to the limelight.
3.16. The Stroll at Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Whitechapel Bell Foundry is located in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Although the area is now closed and put up for sale, the walls of the bell foundry are jeweled with graffiti that you clearly cannot miss.
Hence, take a stroll near the Whitechapel Bell Foundry before you leave so that none of the sightseeing spots in Whitechapel is missed by you.
These are some of the best things and places you can’t miss on your trip to Whitechapel. This city is filled with life and joy. The fresh air allows you to relax and enjoy the beauty of the ancient structures.
Therefore, be ready to become the detective of the greatest unsolved crimes and escape reality in this. The Whitechapel market is filled with so many accessories to colour your life. Indeed, it is one of London’s hidden gems and the best tourist spots.
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