Goulston Street, E1

Road in/near Spitalfields, existing between the 1730s and now

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MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Road · Spitalfields · E1 ·
MARCH
30
2017

Goulston Street is a thoroughfare running north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street.

Goulston Street looking north, c.1900. Wentworth Dwellings are in the background.
Goulston Street first appeared as a small passage in the 1730s, but within ten years had been widened and extended as far as Goulston Square, a former garden which sat half way between Wentworth and Whitechapel High Streets. The street was extended further north between 1800 and 1830, this part initially being called New Goulston Street. The ’New’ prefix was soon dropped.

The northern half of the street came under the scrutiny of the Metropolitan Board of Works when the Cross Act of 1875 earmarked it for demolition on account of its dangerous slum tenements. At the same time, properties in George Yard and the Flower and Dean Street area were also suggested for redevelopment. The resulting changes in Goulston Street meant that unsanitary dwellings in Three Tun Alley (on the west side) and Goulston Court (on the east) were wiped out, along with much of the west side of Goulston Street itself.

In 1886/7, Brunswick Buildings were built on the west side of Goulston Street (as far as New Goulston Street) and Wentworth Dwellings were constructed on both Wentworth Street corners.

Most of Brunswick Buildings were destroyed during the Second World War (by a V2 Rocket) but those abutting on New Goulston Street survived.

Conditions in Wentworth Dwellings and the remaining tenements of Brunswick Buildings deteriorated over the course of the 20th century and both were earmarked for demolition in 1967.

Conditions at Brunswick were particularly poor - walls were collapsing and postmen refused to deliver because they had to negotiate piles of rubbish from overflowing bins. Brunswick Buildings were eventually demolished in 1976, although their name is commemorated in Brunswick House which now partly covers the site.

Goulston Street is now one of many streets which take on the overflow from Petticoat Lane and Wentworth Street markets. It is also the site of a number of buildings belonging to London Metropolitan University (59-63 Whitechapel High Street) as well as the location of the famous ’Tubby Isaacs’ seafood stall.

The Aldgate Exchange pub on the eastern corner with Whitechapel High Street is the venue for meetings of the Whitechapel Society 1888, held in the downstairs ’Goulston Dive Bar’.

Citations and sources

Blog about E1 and the surrounding areas
Survey of London's Whitechapel Survey
Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations
The free encyclopedia

Links and further reading

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VIEW THE SPITALFIELDS AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE SPITALFIELDS AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE SPITALFIELDS AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE SPITALFIELDS AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE SPITALFIELDS AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Spitalfields

Spitalfields is near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane.

The area straddles Commercial Street and is home to several markets, including the historic Old Spitalfields Market, and various Brick Lane Markets on Brick Lane and Cheshire Street. Petticoat Lane Market lies on the area's south-western boundaries.

The name Spitalfields appears in the form Spittellond in 1399; as The spitel Fyeld on the 16th-century Civitas Londinium map associated with Ralph Agas. The land belonged to St Mary Spital, a priory or hospital erected on the east side of the Bishopsgate thoroughfare in 1197, and the name is thought to derive from this. An alternative, and possibly earlier, name for the area was Lolsworth.

After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Spitalfields was inhabited by prosperous French Huguenot silk weavers. In the early 19th century their descendants were reduced to a deplorable condition due to the competition of the Manchester textile factories and the area began to deteriorate into crime-infested slums. The spacious and handsome Huguenot houses were divided up into tiny dwellings which were rented by poor families of labourers, who sought employment in the nearby docks.

The area has recently attracted a IT-literate younger population.
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Maps


Cole's map of Aldgate Ward (1754) FREE DOWNLOAD
Aldgate Ward with its divisions into Precincts and Parishes according to a new Survey 1754. B. Cole
B. Cole

Central London, north east (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north east.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Cruchley's New Plan of London (1848) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cruchley's New Plan of London Shewing all the new and intended improvements to the Present Time. - Cruchley's Superior Map of London, with references to upwards of 500 Streets, Squares, Public Places & C. improved to 1848: with a compendium of all Place of Public Amusements also shewing the Railways & Stations.
G. F. Cruchley

Cary's New And Accurate Plan of London and Westminster (1818) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cary's map provides a detailed view of London. With print date of 1 January 1818, Cary's map has 27 panels arranged in 3 rows of 9 panels, each measuring approximately 6 1/2 by 10 5/8 inches. The complete map measures 32 1/8 by 59 1/2 inches. Digitising this map has involved aligning the panels into one contiguous map.
John Cary

John Rocque Map of London (1762) FREE DOWNLOAD
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured.
Chapman and Hall, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1836) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Insets: A view of the Tower from London Bridge -- A view of London from Copenhagen Fields. Includes views of facades of 25 structures "A comparison of the principal buildings of London."
Chapman and Hall, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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