Mile End Road, E1


Mile End Road is an ancient route from London to the East, moved to its present alignment after the foundation of Bow Bridge in 1110.

Mile End - more specifically the turnpike on Whitechapel Road at the crossroads with Cambridge Heath Road - was situated one mile from Aldgate; hence the name. It was first recorded in 1288 and known as Aldgatestrete. The area running alongside Mile End Road was known as Mile End Green, and became known as a place of assembly for Londoners, as reflected in the name of Assembly Passage.

For most of the medieval period, this road was surrounded by open fields on either side. Speculative developments existed by the end of the 16th century and continued throughout the 18th century. It developed as an area of working and lower-class housing, often occupied by immigrants and migrants new to the city.

Wat Tyler gathered his followers here during the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.

A Jewish cemetery was established on Mile End Road in 1657 by permission of Oliver Cromwell.

From 1800 onwards, Stepney expanded towards the southern side of Mile End Road. A district which became known as Mile End New Town developed in an area east of Brick Lane. The houses along Mile End Road became called Mile End Old Town.

Captain’s Cook’s House dates from the eighteenth century, when the land was open upon either side of the Mile End Rd and the masts of ships might been seen by travellers approaching London.

A terrace was built by Anthony Ireland in 1717 and Malplaquet House built by Thomas Andrews in 1741-2. Nearby Bellevue Place, Maria Terrace and Mile End Place survive as dignified examples of housing for those employed in local industries, brewery workers and artisans.

It became the fashion for Eastenders to promenade along the Mile End Road at weekends, dressed in their Sunday best and admiring the shop windows.

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