Suburb, existing until now

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Suburb · Ratcliff · E1W ·

Ratcliff (or Ratcliffe) is a former locality now split between the modern day districts of Limehouse, Stepney and Shadwell after being absorbed into them.

The name Ratcliffe derives from a small red sandstone cliff that stood above the surrounding marshes. Located at the western end of Narrow Street it was by the eighteenth century made up of lodging houses, bars, brothels and opium dens. It acquired an unsavoury reputation with a large transient population. In 1794 approximately half of the hamlet was destroyed in a fire but, even so, it continued as a notorious slum well into the nineteenth century.

Ratcliffe was originally known for shipbuilding but from the fourteenth century more for fitting and provisioning ships. By the early seventeenth century it had the largest population of any village in Stepney, with 3500 residents.

A number of sailing warships were built for the Royal Navy here, including one of the earliest frigates, the Constant Warwick in 1645.

From the late sixteenth century Ratcliffe and surrounding areas were notable areas for non-conformist Christianity. The parish church of Ratcliffe, St James in Butcher Row, was built in 1838 and served the area until 1951 when the parish was merged with St Paul, Shadwell.

In late 1811 seven murders took place in Ratcliffe Highway (St George’s Street), allegedly committed by a sailor named Williams, who committed suicide after being captured.

By the latter half of the nineteenth century, the condition of the area had improved somewhat - the 1868 ’National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland’ describes Ratcliffe as inhabited by persons connected with shipping and having extensive warehouses, with the area ’well paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with water from the reservoir at Old Ford’.

Main source: Wikipedia
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Added: 27 Apr 2021 12:05 GMT   

St George in the East Church
This Church was opened in 1729, designed by Hawksmore. Inside destroyed by incendrie bomb 16th April 1941. Rebuilt inside and finished in 1964. The building remained open most of the time in a temporary prefab.

Born here
colin Passfield   
Added: 1 Jan 2021 15:28 GMT   

Dora Street, E14
My grandmother was born in 1904 at 34 Dora Street

Born here
Beverly Sand   
Added: 3 Apr 2021 17:19 GMT   

Havering Street, E1
My mother was born at 48 Havering Street. That house no longer exists. It disappeared from the map by 1950. Family name Schneider, mother Ray and father Joe. Joe’s parents lived just up the road at 311 Cable Street

Boo Horton    
Added: 31 May 2021 13:39 GMT   

Angel & Trumpet, Stepney Green
The Angel & Trumpet Public House in Stepney Green was run by my ancestors in the 1930’s. Unfortunately, it was a victim on WWII and was badly damaged and subsequently demolished. I have one photograph that I believe to bethe pub, but it doesn’t show much more that my Great Aunt cleaning the steps.


Added: 28 Jun 2021 00:48 GMT   

Tower Bridge Business Complex, S
need for my coursework

Source: university

Lived here
Kim Johnson   
Added: 24 Jun 2021 19:17 GMT   

Limehouse Causeway (1908)
My great grandparents were the first to live in 15 Tomlins Terrace, then my grandparents and parents after marriage. I spent the first two years of my life there. My nan and her family lived at number 13 Tomlins Terrace. My maternal grandmother lived in Maroon house, Blount Street with my uncle. Nan, my mum and her brothers were bombed out three times during the war.

Lived here
Added: 18 Feb 2021 22:03 GMT   

Pereira Street, E1
My grandfather Charles Suett lived in Periera Street & married a widowed neighbour there. They later moved to 33 Bullen House, Collingwood Street where my father was born.


Bob Land   
Added: 29 Jun 2022 13:20 GMT   

Map legends
Question, I have been looking at quite a few maps dated 1950 and 1900, and there are many abbreviations on the maps, where can I find the lists to unravel these ?


Bob Land

Added: 26 Jun 2022 18:20 GMT   

On the dole in north London
When I worked at the dole office in Medina Road in the 1980s, "Archway" meant the social security offices which were in Archway Tower at the top of the Holloway Road. By all accounts it was a nightmare location for staff and claimants alike. This was when Margaret Thatcher’s government forced unemployment to rise to over 3 million (to keep wages down) and computerised records where still a thing of the future. Our job went from ensuring that unemployed people got the right sort and amount of benefits at the right time, to stopping as many people as possible from getting any sort of benefit at all. Britain changed irrevocably during this period and has never really recovered. We lost the "all in it together" frame of mind that had been born during the second world war and became the dog-eat-dog society where 1% have 95% of the wealth and many people can’t afford to feed their children. For me, the word Archway symbolises the land of lost content.

Jack Wilson   
Added: 21 Jun 2022 21:40 GMT   

Penfold Printers
I am seeking the location of Penfold Printers Offices in Dt Albans place - probably about 1870 or so

Lived here
Added: 19 Jun 2022 16:58 GMT   

Runcorn Place, W11
Runcorn place

Added: 30 May 2022 19:03 GMT   

The Three Magpies
Row of houses (centre) was on Heathrow Rd....Ben’s Cafe shack ( foreground ) and the Three Magpies pub (far right) were on the Bath Rd

Added: 17 May 2022 20:29 GMT   

Baeethoven St School, also an Annex for Paddington College of FE.
In the early 70’s I took a two year science course at Paddington CFE. The science classes were held on weekday evenings at Beethoven Street school, overseen by chemistry teacher, Mr Tattershall.


Added: 25 Apr 2022 22:11 GMT   

Southover, N12
Everyone knows Central Woodside is the place to be. Ever since kdog moved from finchtown, Woodside has been thriving.

Born here
Bernard Miller   
Added: 12 Apr 2022 17:36 GMT   

My mother and her sister were born at 9 Windsor Terrace
My mother, Millie Haring (later Miller) and her sister Yetta Haring (later Freedman) were born here in 1922 and 1923. With their parents and older brother and sister, they lived in two rooms until they moved to Stoke Newington in 1929. She always said there were six rooms, six families, a shared sink on the first floor landing and a toilet in the backyard.


Boulcott Street, E1W Boulcott Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area.
Brook Street, E1 Brook Street was an old name for this section of Cable Street.
Bull’s Buildings, E1W Bull’s Buildings was a close off White Horse Street.
Caroline Street, E1 Caroline Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area.
Cranford Street, E1W Cranford Street is a road in the E1W postcode area
Dunstan Place, E1W Dunstan Place first appeared on the 1830 map, replacing an area called Globe Yard.
Edward Mann Close East, E1 A street within the E1 postcode
Heckford Street Business Centre, E1W A street within the E1W postcode
Heckford Street, E1W Heckford Street is one of the streets of London in the E1W postal area.
Jardine Road, E1W Jardine Road is a road in the E1W postcode area
Pitsea Street, E1 Pitsea Street is a road in the E1 postcode area
Ratcliffe Cross Street, E1W Ratcliffe Cross Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area.
Schoolhouse Lane, E1W Schoolhouse Lane connects Cable Street and The Highway.
Warren Place, E1W A street within the E1 postcode

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Thames Tunnel
TUM image id: 1554042170
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

Click an image below for a better view...
Brook Street, E1 - looking east (c. 1910) Brook Street is now renamed as part of Cable Street. The side street with the posts is Schoolhouse Lane and the building on the far right is the Friends’ Meeting House.
Credit: Vin Miles (contributor)
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Rotherhithe Street, Bermondsey with the ship ’Argo’ visible in the distance. By the mid 18th century Rotherhithe had a strong maritime and shipbuilding tradition. The Surrey Docks arrived during the 19th century and added 136 acres of interlinked waterways.
Licence: CC BY 2.0

Victorian-era London brickwork
Credit: Wiki Commons
Licence: CC BY 2.0

R. Passmore & Company in Limehouse. This was sitauted on the corner of Narrow Street and The Highway. Free Trade Wharf was behind.

The foreshore of the River Thames near Ratcliff Cross Stairs, E14 (2020). Canary Wharf is in the background.
Credit: Wiki Commons/Ttocserp

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