Greatorex Street was formerly called High Street.
Daniel Greatorex was a clergyman and for 40 years was chaplain to the Sailor’s Home in Dock Street
. He was at the same time vicar of St Paul’s Whitechapel
. Greatorex Street is named after him.
Little is known about the earliest developments but the district’s growth seems to have started along the High Street (Greatorex Street), an early means of access from Whitechapel
and ’The Church Way’ (now part of Hanbury Street
). The latter ran eastward from Spitalfields towards Mile End. By the late seventeenth century, the settlement was divided from east to west by the Common Sewer, a drainage ditch which later formed the boundary between the two estates into which Mile End New Town
was divided. As late as 1838 the Common Sewer was still an open ditch.
Building development seems to have begun shortly after 1680. New streets were laid out at this early stage, but building was slow and spasmodic.
High Street (Greatorex Street) was closed at its lower end by a barrier, whose removal was authorised by an Act of 1780. West of High Street lay an area called Garden Ground
occupied by one Martin Girle.
Paul Turquand built a sugarhouse on the street in 1757 with the remises expanded and taken over by George Lear & Company (later Lear & Cobden) from 1780 to 1815. The premises were converted in 2011 to house a college on the upper storey of the front range above the Greatorex Business Centre.
Until the early 21st century, Greatorex Street was famous for its fish restaurant, Tubby Isaac’s
Adler Street, E1 Adler Street runs between the Whitechapel Road and the Commercial Road. Angel Alley, E1 Angel Alley was a narrow passage which ran north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street.. Arcadia Court, E1 Arcadia Court is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Assam Street, E1 Assam Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Black Lion Yard, E1 Black Lion Yard was a narrow thoroughfare running north-south from Old Montague Street (where it was accessible via a set of steps) to Whitechapel Road. Brick Lane, E1 Brick Lane runs north from the junction of Osborn Street, Old Montague Street and Wentworth Street, through Spitalfields to Bethnal Green Road. Brune Street, E1 Brune Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Buxton Street, E1 Buxton Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Calvin Street, E1 Calvin Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. College East, E1 College East is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Commercial Road, E1 Commercial Road is a major thoroughfare (the A13) running east-west from the junction of Burdett Road and East India Dock Road to Braham Street. Commercial Street, E1 Commercial Street is a major thoroughfare running north-south from Shoreditch High Street to Whitechapel High Street. Corbet Place, E1 Corbet Place is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Court Street, E1 Court Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Deal Street, E1 Deal Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Dray Walk, E1 Dray Walk is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Durward Street, E1 Durward Street is a narrow thoroughfare running east-west from Brady Street to Baker’s Row (today’s Vallance Road). Fashion Street, E1 Fashion Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Brick Lane to Commercial Street. Fournier Street, E1 Fournier Street is a street running east-west from Brick Lane to Commercial Street alongside Christ Church. George Street, E1 George Street was a street running north-south from Flower and Dean Street to Wentworth Street, crossing Thrawl Street approx. half way along its length.. Goulston Street, E1 Goulston Street is a thoroughfare running north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street. Granary Road, E1 Granary Road is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Hanbury Street, E1 Hanbury Street is a long road running west-east from Commercial Street to Vallance Road. Hunton Street, E1 Hunton Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Kent and Essex Yard, E1 Kent and Essex Yard ran north of Whitechapel High Street, close to the west side of Commercial Street. Lamb Street, E1 Lamb Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Lolesworth Close, E1 Lolesworth Close is a short cul-de-sac on the east side of Commercial Street which was originally the western extremity of Flower and Dean Street. Ltd, E1 A street within the E1 postcode Myrdle Street, E1 Myrdle Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Nelson Street, E1 Nelson Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. New Road, E1 New Road is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Newark Street, E1 Newark Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Old Castle Street, E1 Old Castle Street runs north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street, the southern section of which incorporates the former Castle Alley, murder site of Ripper victim Alice McKenzie. Old Montague Street, E1 Old Montague Street is a thoroughfare running east-west from Baker’s Row (now Vallance Road) to Brick Lane. Osborn Street, E1 Osborn Street is a short road leading from Whitechapel Road to the crossroads with Brick Lane, Wentworth Street and Old Montague Street. Plumbers Row, E1 Plumbers Row is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Puma Court, E1 Puma Court is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Quaker Street, E1 Quaker Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Selby Street, E1 Selby Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Thrawl Street, E1 Originally built by Henry Thrall (or Thrale) c.1656, Thrawl Street ran east-west from Brick Lane as far as George Street across a former tenter field owned by the Fossan brothers, Thomas and Lewis. Turner Street, E1 Turner Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Vallance Road, E1 Vallance Road is a significant road running north-south from Bethnal Green Road to Whitechapel Road. Varden Street, E1 Varden Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Vine Court, E1 Vine Court is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Wentworth Street, E1 Wentworth Street runs east-west from the junction of Brick Lane, Osborn Street and Old Montague Street to Middlesex Street, forming part of the boundary between Spitalfields and St Mary’s Whitechapel. Wheler Street, E1 Wheler Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Whitechapel High Street, E1 Whitechapel High Street runs approximately west-east from Aldgate High Street to Whitechapel Road and is designated as part of the A11. Whites Row, E1 White’s Row is a narrow thoroughfare running east-west from Commercial Street to Crispin Street. Wilkes Street, E1 Wilkes Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area. Winthrop Street, E1 Winthrop Street was formerly a narrow street running east-west from Brady Street to Durward Street.
Whitechapel is a neighbourhood whose heart is Whitechapel Road itself, named for a small chapel of ease dedicated to St Mary.
By the late 1500s Whitechapel and the surrounding area had started becoming 'other half' of London. Located downwind of the genteel sections of west London which were to see the expansion of Westminster Abbey and construction of Buckingham Palace, it naturally attracted the more fragrant activities of the city, particularly tanneries, breweries, foundries (including the Whitechapel Bell Foundry which later cast Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and also Big Ben), slaughterhouses and, close by to the south, the gigantic Billingsgate fish market, famous in its day for the ornately foul language of the extremely Cockney fishwomen who worked there.
Population shifts from rural areas to London from the 1600s to the mid 1800s resulted in great numbers of more or less destitute people taking up residence amidst the industries and mercantile interests that had attracted them. By the 1840s Whitechapel, along with the enclaves of Wapping, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Mile End, Limehouse and Stepney (collectively known today as the East End
), had evolved, or devolved, into classic 'dickensian' London. Whitechapel Road
itself was not particularly squalid through most of this period - it was the warren of small dark streets branching from it that contained the greatest suffering, filth and danger, especially Dorset St., Thrawl St., Berners St. (renamed Henriques St.), Wentworth St. and others.
In the Victorian era the base population of poor English country stock was swelled by immigrants from all over, particularly Irish and Jewish. 1888 saw the depredations of the Whitechapel Murderer, later known as 'Jack the Ripper'. In 1902, American author Jack London, looking to write a counterpart to Jacob Riis's seminal book How the Other Half Lives
, donned ragged clothes and boarded in Whitechapel, detailing his experiences in The People of the Abyss
. Riis had recently documented the astoundingly bad conditions in the leading city of the United States. Jack London, a socialist, thought it worthwhile to explore conditions in the leading city of the nation that had created modern capitalism. He concluded that English poverty was far rougher than the American variety. The juxtaposition of the poverty, homelessness, exploitive work conditions, prostitution, and infant mortality of Whitechapel and other East End locales with some of the greatest personal wealth the world has ever seen made it a focal point for leftist reformers of all kinds, from George Bernard Shaw, whose Fabian Society met regularly in Whitechapel, to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who boarded and led rallies in Whitechapel during his exile from Russia.
Whitechapel remained poor (and colourful) through the first half of the 20th Century, though somewhat less desperately so. It suffered great damage in the V2 German rocket attacks and the Blitz of World War II. Since then, Whitechapel has lost its notoriety, though it is still thoroughly working class. The Bangladeshis are the most visible migrant group there today and it is home to many aspiring artists and shoestring entrepreneurs.
Since the 1970s, Whitechapel and other nearby parts of East London have figured prominently in London's art scene. Probably the most prominent art venue is the Whitechapel Art Gallery, founded in 1901 and long an outpost of high culture in a poor neighbourhood. As the neighbourhood has gentrified, it has gained citywide, and even international, visibility and support.
Whitechapel, is a London Underground and London Overground station, on Whitechapel Road
was opened in 1876 by the East London Railway on a line connecting Liverpool Street station in the City of London with destinations south of the River Thames. The station site was expanded in 1884, and again in 1902, to accommodate the services of the Metropolitan District Railway, a predecessor of the London Underground. The London Overground section of the station was closed between 2007 and 27 April 2010 for rebuilding, initially reopening for a preview service on 27 April 2010 with the full service starting on 23 May 2010.