Old Castle Street, E1

Road in Spitalfields, existing between 1676 and now

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Road · Spitalfields · E1 · Contributed by The Underground Map
MARCH
30
2017
Click to enlarge image.
Discovery of the body of Alice McKenzie, Castle Alley, from the Penny Illustrated Paper, July 1889.
Credit: Penny Illustrated Paper


Castle Alley appears (though unnamed) in maps as early as 1676, joining Castle Street via a narrow passage to Whitechapel High Street. By the mid-18th century, Castle Street had been given the ’Old’ prefix and the future Castle Alley was known as ’Moses and Aaron Alley’ a name it appears to have kept until c.1800. In 1830, it appears as ’Castle Court’. The name Castle Alley was certainly in use by the mid-19th century.

The Whitechapel Wash House (built 1846-51 in Goulston Street) backed onto Castle Alley, which at this time was extremely narrow and entered via a covered archway from Whitechapel High Street. Castle Alley was lined on its west side by warehouses and the Wash House and on its east side by smaller properties. The confluence of the alley and Old Castle Street took the form of a sharp bend which was to be the site of the Old Castle Street Board School, built 1873. The narrowest part of the alley was also earmarked for widening in 1876 as part of the Cross Act (a slum clearance scheme).

The body of Jack the Ripper victim Alice McKenzie was found on the west side of Castle Alley by PC Walter Andrews at 12.50am om 17 July 1889, lying near some market traders’ carts, just to the south of the Wash House.

Soon after the murder (1890), properties on the east side at the junction with with Whitechapel High Street were demolished, although there were still concerns as to the narrowness of the entrance in the 1900s. It was properly widened c.1908.

By 1916 it had been renamed as part of Old Castle Street. By the 1930s, the Board School had been replaced by LCC flats (Herbert House) and a walkway had been constructed across the street as part of the Brooke Bond tea warehouses on the west side.

War damage on the eastern side led to the redevelopment of adjacent Newcastle Street and other small thoroughfares, resulting in the construction of the New Holland estate (Bradbury House, Ladbroke House and Denning Point) between 1965 and 1971

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.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
18 Folgate Street:   Dennis Severs' House in Folgate Street is a 'still-life drama' created by the previous owner as an 'historical imagination' of what life would have been like inside for a family of Huguenot silk weavers.
Aldgate:   Aldgate was a gateway through London Wall from the City of London to Whitechapel and the East End.
Aldgate East:   In a land east of Aldgate, lies the land of Aldgate East...
Fenchurch Street:   Fenchurch Street railway station is a central London railway terminus in the southeastern corner of the City of London. It is one of the smallest railway termini in London but in terms of platforms, one of the most intensively operated.
Spitalfields:   Spitalfields is near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
London in 1457:   Goulston Street is a thoroughfare running north-south from Wentworth Street to Whitechapel High Street.
Wentworth Street (1901):   Turn-of-the-century fashion in east London.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Aldgate Bus Garage, EC3N · Aldgate High Street, EC3N · Aldgate, EC3N · Alie Street, E1 · America Square, EC3N · Angel Alley, E1 · Arcadia Court, E1 · Artillery Lane, E1 · Artillery Passage, E1 · Back Alley, EC3N · Bell Lane, E1 · Bishops Square, E1 · Braham Street, E1 · Brick Lane, E1 · Brune House, E1 · Brune Street, E1 · Brushfield Street, E1 · Buckle Street, E1 · Camperdown Street, E1 · Carlisle Avenue, EC3N · Celia Blairman House, E1 · Central House, E1 · Chamber Street, E1 · Chicksand Street, E1 · Cobb Street, E1 · College East, E1 · Commercial Street, E1 · Cooper?s Row, EC3N · Coopers Row, EC3N · Coppergate House, E1 · Corbet Place, E1 · Crispin Place, E1 · Crispin Street, E1 · Crosswall, EC3N · Crutched Friars, EC3N · Cutler Street, E1 · Dorset Street, E1 · Dukes Place, EC3A · Dukes Place, EC3A · East Tenter Street, E1 · Fashion Street, E1 · Flower and Dean Street, E1 · Folgate Street, E1 · Fournier Street, E1 · Frying Pan Alley, E1 · George Street, E1 · Goodman?s Yard, E1 · Goodmans Yard, E1 · Goulston Street, E1 · Gravel Lane, E1 · Gun Street, E1 · Gunthorpe Street, E1 · Hanbury Street, E1 · Harrow Place, E1 · Haydon Street, E1 · Haydon Street, EC3N · Heneage Street, E1 · Ibex House, EC3N · India Street, EC3N · Irongate House, EC3A · Jewry Street, EC3N · Lamb Street, E1 · Leman Street, E1 · Leyden Street, E1 · Little Paternoster Row, E1 · Little Somerset Street, E1 · Lloyd?s Avenue, EC3N · Lloyds Avenue, EC3N · Lolesworth Close, E1 · London Fruit Exchange, E1 · Manningtree Street, E1 · Mansell Street, E1 · Middlesex Street, E1 · Middlesex Street, EC3A · Minories, E1 · Minories, EC3N · Mitre Avenue, E17 · Mitre Square, EC3A · Mitre Street, EC3A · Monmouth House, E1 · New Goulston Street, E1 · North Tenter Street, E1 · Old Castle Street, E1 · One America Square, EC3N · Osborn Street, E1 · Osborne Street, E1 · Osbourne Street, E1 · Parliament Court, E1 · Portsoken Street, E1 · Prescot Street, E1 · Princelet Street, E1 · Puma Court, E1 · Sandys Row, E1 · Saracen?s Head Yard, EC3N · Spellman Street, E1 · Spelman House, E1 · Spelman Street, E1 · Spital Square, E1 · St Botolph Street, EC3A · St Clare House, EC3N · St Clare Street, EC3N · St James’s Passage, EC3A · St James’s Place, EC3A · St Mark Street, E1 · St Marks Street, E1 · St. Botolph Street, EC3A · St. Botolph Street, EC3N · Stoney Lane, E1 · Stothard Place, EC2M · Strype Street, E1 · Tenter Ground, E1 · Thrawl Street, E1 · Toynbee Street, E1 · Victoria Yard, E1 · Vine Street, EC3N · Wentworth Street, E1 · West Tenter Street, E1 · White Church Lane, E1 · White Kennet Street, E1 · White Kennett Street, E1 · Whitechap, E1 · Whitechapel High Street, E1 · Whites Row, E1 · Widegate Street, E1 · Wilkes Street, E1 ·


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