Flower and Dean Street, E1

Road in/near Whitechapel, existed between 1655 and 1977

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Flower and Dean Street (east side), c.1902

Flower and Dean Street was a narrow street running east-west from Commercial Street to Brick Lane.

No addresses have so far been added to Flower and Dean Street, E1

Originally laid out in 1655 on land belonging to Thomas and Lewis Fossan by John Flower and Gowen Dean, Whitechapel bricklayers. The street was originally 16 feet wide and a mere 10 feet wide at its western end, a feature it maintained throughout its existence. The street also appears under the name ’Dean and Flower Street’ in maps of 1676 and 1682.

In 1657, a search conducted by the ’Tylers and Bricklayer’s Company’ showed that houses in Flower and Dean Street had been constructed using ’badd mortar using garden mould’ and such was the poor state of the properties that extensive rebuilding had to be undertaken by the mid-18th century. In Roque’s map of 1746, Flower and Dean Street was split by a large open square known as Broad Place, though it would seem this was a temporary feature brought about by demolition.

The construction of Commercial Street from 1844 caused a considerable shift in the local population which no doubt exacerbated overcrowded conditions in the general area and Flower and Dean Street soon became known for its common lodging houses, courts, alleys and interconnecting properties. By 1880, it had sunk to such disreputable levels that one commentator was moved to write:
"Those who know the locality well said that if I examined the courts which ran out of Flower and Dean Street and the houses in its alleys and lanes, I should then be able to assure myself that I had seen the very worst that London is capable of producing".

Indeed, by way of illustration, the census of 1881 lists no fewer than twenty common lodging houses on Flower and Dean Street. This gave a total of nearly 1000 residents of lodging houses alone - No.5 was also part of a property in Brick Lane that was home to 222 individuals.

The Metropolitan Board of Works prepared a clearance scheme in 1877, though little was done at first, giving a period of reprieve for the slums and lodging houses and by 1883 it was considered "perhaps the foulest and most dangerous street in the whole metropolis". Eventually, a plot of land on the south side was bought by the Four per-cent Industrial Dwellings Company who built the barrack-like Charlotte De Rothschild Dwellings in 1886-7.

The slums of Spitalfields came to national (and international) attention during the period of the Whitechapel Murders as the victims were regular users of the common lodging houses, most commonly in Dorset Street and Flower and Dean Street.

From 24th-30th August 1888, Mary Ann Nichols stayed at the ’White House’ at No.56. Nichols, drunk, had met Emily Holland on the morning of her murder, claiming to want to go there instead of her usual lodgings at Wilmott’s Lodging House, Thrawl Street. Elizabeth Stride had stayed at No.32 Flower and Dean Street on and off since 1882 and on the day before her murder had earnt 6d from the deputy, Elizabeth Tanner, by cleaning the kitchen. During the Ripper scare, Dr Thomas Barnardo visited No.32 to see conditions for himself and listened to the concerns of the women there regarding the murders. Barnardo was later to identify Stride in the mortuary as one of the women he had spoken to during that visit.

Further redevelopment began after the murders ceased. In 1891, the Four per-cent Industrial Dwellings Company acquired most of the north side of the street and had begun demolishing Nos.33-44 by April of that year. Nos.45-55 followed suit and Nathaniel Dwellings were built, being opened in 1892. The remaining parts of the south side were developed in 1895-7 with individual blocks known as Ruth and Irene Houses. However, the extreme eastern end (including the White House) remained undeveloped, maintaining the insalubrious reputation of old, despite the now improved conditions and reputation of the rest of the street.

By the late 1960s, many of these dwellings had fallen into disrepair and plans were afoot to clear the area, pending some new housing scheme. Demolition began in 1973 and was complete by 1977, although it would be several years until new buildings would be constructed. The eastern end of Flower and Dean Street was blocked off by new shops and flats which were erected on Brick Lane c.1981 and eventually the whole site was redeveloped as the Flower and Dean estate 1982-4.

A small stretch of Flower and Dean Street remains at the Commercial Street end but was renamed Lolesworth Close c.1983. The street is commemorated by Flower and Dean Walk, a pedestrianised area that runs through the estate approximately in line with the former George Street.

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VIEW THE WHITECHAPEL AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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VIEW THE WHITECHAPEL AREA IN THE 1800s
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VIEW THE WHITECHAPEL AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE WHITECHAPEL AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE WHITECHAPEL AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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Whitechapel

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.


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...
Spitalfields:   Spitalfields is near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane.
St Botolph’s:   St. Botolph’s without Aldgate, located on Aldgate High Street, has existed for over a thousand years.
Whitechapel:   Whitechapel is a neighbourhood whose heart is Whitechapel Road itself, named for a small chapel of ease dedicated to St Mary.


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
Adler Street, E1 · Alderman Stairs, E1W · Alderman Stairs, SE1 · Aldgate Bus Garage, EC3N · Aldgate High Street, EC3N · Aldgate, EC3N · Alie Street, E1 · Alie Street, E77 · Angel Alley, E1 · Arcadia Court, E1 · Artillery Lane, E1 · Artillery Passage, E1 · Arts Quarter, E1 · Assam Street, E1 · Back Church Lane, E1 · Back Mews, SE4 · Bacon Street, E1 · Barnsley Street, E1 · Batty Street, E1 · Bell Lane, E1 · Bishops Square, E1 · Black Lion Yard, E1 · Blossom Street, E1 · Boyd Street, E1 · Brady Street, E1 · Braham Street, E1 · Braithwaite Street, E1 · Brick Lane, E1 · Brune House, E1 · Brune Street, E1 · Brushfield Street, E1 · Buckhurst Street, E1 · Buckle Street, E1 · Burr Close, E1W · Burslem Street, E1 · Buxton Street, E1 · Calvin Street, E1 · Cambridge Heath Road, E1 · Camperdown Street, E1 · Casson Street, E1 · Castlemain Street, E1 · Celia Blairman House, E1 · Central House, E1 · Chance Street, E1 · Chicksand Street, E1 · Christian Street, E1 · Club Row, E1 · Cobb Street, E1 · Code Street, E1 · College East, E1 · Collingwood Street, E1 · Commercial Street, E1 · Coney Way, SW8 · Coppergate House, E1 · Corbet Place, E1 · Court Street, E1 · Coverley Close, E1 · Crispin Place, E1 · Crispin Street, E1 · Cudworth Street, E1 · Darling Row, E1 · Davenant Street, E1 · Deal Street, E1 · Dorset Street, E1 · Dray Walk, E1 · Dukes Place, EC3A · Dukes Place, EC3N · Durward Street, E1 · East Mount Street, E1 · Elder Street, E1 · Fairclough Street, E1 · Fashion Street, E1 · Fieldgate Street, E1 · Flower and Dean Street, E1 · Folgate Street, E1 · Forbes Street, E1 · Fordham Street, E1 · Fournier Street, E1 · Frying Pan Alley, E1 · Fulbourne Street, E1 · George Street, E1 · Golding Street, E1 · Goulston Street, E1 · Granary Road, E1 · Gravel Lane, E1 · Greatorex Street, E1 · Greenfield Road, E1 · Gun Street, E1 · Gunthorpe Street, E1 · Hanbury Street, E1 · Harrow Place, E1 · Headlam Street, E1 · Hemming Street, E1 · Heneage Street, E1 · Henriques Street, E1 · Hermitage Court, E1W · Hunton Street, E1 · Irongate House, EC3A · Key Close, E1 · Kings Arms Court, E1 · Knighten Street, E1W · Knighton Street, E1W · Lamb Street, E1 · Langdale Street, E1 · Leyden Street, E1 · Little Paternoster Row, E1 · Little Somerset Street, E1 · Lolesworth Close, E1 · London Fruit Exchange, E1 · Manningtree Street, E1 · Merceron Street, E1 · Mews Street, E1W · Middlesex Street, E1 · Middlesex Street, EC3A · Monmouth House, E1 · Mulberry Street, E1 · Myrdle Street, E1 · Nesham Street, E1W · New Goulston Street, E1 · Old Castle Street, E1 · Old Montague Street, E1 · Orton Street, E1W · Osborn Street, E1 · Osborne Street, E1 · Osbourne Street, E1 · Parfett Street, E1 · Parliament Court, E1 · Pedley Street, E1 · Pereira Street, E1 · Philchurch Place, E1 · Pier Head, E1W · Pinchin Street, E1 · Plumbers Row, E1 · Pomell Way, E1 · Ponler Street, E1 · Princelet Street, E1 · Puma Court, E1 · Quaker Street, E1 · Redchurch Street, E2 · Regal Close, E1 · Romford Street, E1 · Saint Katherine’s Way, E1W · Sampson Street, E1W · Sandys Row, E1 · Scott Street, E1 · Selby Street, E1 · Settles Street, E1 · Shoreditch High Street, E1 · Silwex House, E1 · Spellman Street, E1 · Spelman House, E1 · Spelman Street, E1 · Spital Square, E1 · Spital Street, E1 · Spring Walk, E1 · St Anthony’s Close, E1W · St Botolph Street, EC3A · St James’s Passage, EC3A · St Katharines Way, E1W · St Katharine’s Way, E1W · St. Botolph Street, EC3A · St. Botolph Street, EC3N · Star Place, E1W · Stepney Green Court, E1 · Stockholm Way, E1W · Stoney Lane, E1 · Stothard Place, EC2M · Strype Street, E1 · Stutfield Street, E1 · Surma Close, E1 · Tent Street, E1 · Tenter Ground, E1 · Thomas More Square, E1W · Thomas More Street, E1W · Thrawl Street, E1 · Three Colts Corner, E2 · Three Colts Lane, E1 · Three Colts Lane, E2 · Tower Bridge Approach, E1W · Tower Bridge Approach, EC3N · Tower Bridge, E1W · Tower Walk, E1W · Toynbee Street, E1 · Trahorn Close, E1 · Umberston Street, E1 · Underwood Road, E1 · Vallance Road, E1 · Vaughan Way, E1W · Vine Court, E1 · Weaver Street, E1 · Wentworth Street, E1 · Wheler Street, E1 · Whitby Street, E1 · White Church Lane, E1 · White Kennet Street, E1 · White Kennett Street, E1 · White Kennett Street, EC3A · Whitechap, E1 · Whitechapel High Street, E1 · Whitechapel Market, E1 · Whitechapel Road, E1 · Whitechapel Street, E1 · Whites Row, E1 · Wicker Street, E1 · Wilkes Street, E1 · Winthrop Street, E1 · Wodeham Gardens, E1 · Woodseer Street, E1 ·


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London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
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Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
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