Once the stomping ground of the notorious Victorian killer Jack the Ripper; Whitechapel has a bloodcurdling history that doesn’t stop there. Not only did one of the most famous serial killers in history roam the streets in the late 1800’s; – the equally well-known Kray twins became heavily associated with the area in the next century, with Ronnie Kray famously shooting George Cornell dead in the ‘blind beggar’ pub on Whitechapel Road in 1966.
The area however has long since shrugged of its murky past; – and the closest you’ll come to danger here now is by sampling an authentic Bangladeshi curry! Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting corner of Tower Hamlets.
What’s Whitechapel like?
It’s probably fair to say that Whitechapel has been shaped by immigration more than almost any other part of London. From the French silk weavers who settled there in the 17th century, to the Irish settlers escaping famine in the 19th century along with the Jews fleeing from Eastern Europe; -Whitechapel has been an area of constant reinvention. And now home to a thriving Bengali community also, there is a cultural tapestry here that is both rich and diverse.
Right in the heart of the East End, Whitechapel is awash with culture, cuisine and colour. Everywhere you look, there’s plenty on offer; from mosques to historical buildings, to independent shops to art galleries. Brick Lane, one of the most famous streets in London runs through Whitechapel, along with its popular and eclectic market that transforms the area and beyond every Sunday. Here you will find collectables, jewellery, vintage clothes, retro accessories, furniture, boutiques, warehouse art exhibitions and trendy clubs and bars. And most notably of course… curry!
As a hub of London’s Bangladeshi community, Brick Lane has always been known for its Indian cuisine. And whilst 20 years ago you would have been faced with a selection of run down curry houses, Whitechapel has had a real makeover since then, and now proudly offers some of the finest Indian restaurants in the capital. But the restaurant scene here is by no means limited. There have been an explosion of restaurants here in the last few decades, run by a new wave of trendier arrivals, with the number of independent coffee shops, gastropubs and exciting dining experiences are increasing by the day.
What are the properties like here?
Tucked away behind the hustle and bustle of the main roads, you’ll find that the property is as diverse as the residents. Fine Georgian houses, warehouse conversions, new flats, new-build developments, Victorian terraces and former council flats are available for purchase and to rent.
Is Whitechapel good for families?
Plenty of families choose to live here for the thriving sense of community. And although this is a close-grained urban area with relatively little open green space, Altab Ali park is a welcome exception and well loved by the community. All Whitechapel’s state primary schools are rated “good” or better by Ofsted, and residents are just a short distance from London’s financial district, with excellent transport links to other parts of the capital.
What’s on there?
The Street Art: There’s a vibrant arts scene in Whitechapel, with the area being home to a thriving artistic community. Graffiti as such is often celebrated as opposed to eradicated, especially around the Brick Lane area. Here’s a guide to spotting the best ones.
The Whitechapel Art Gallery: Situated in an incredible Edwardian building, the Whitechapel Art Gallery has premiered the works of many world-class artists from modern masters Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Paul Noble, Thomas Struth, Sarah Lucas and Mark Wallinger.
Jack the Ripper Tour: Get transported back to the mean streets of 19th century East End on a Jack the Ripper tour and learn a little more about one of the area’s most famous residents, Jack the Ripper. Explore the cases in detail, as tour guides dressed as Victorian policemen take you further in to the murder mystery that has baffled people for over a century.
Whitechapel Market: Visitors will find every kind of speciality Asian ingredient and spice that they could dream of at Whitechapel Market, as well as jewellery , bargains and general knick-knacks. Here is a place to hone those haggling skills – and just soak up the incredible combination of smells, colours and cultures.
How much does it cost?
The average price for property here stood at £671,572 in June 2020, which is 9.6% above the London Average of £612,506
The average rental price here is £478 per week, which is 19.7 % below the London average.
Whitechapel is within the E1 postcode
This area is well-connected. The Tube station is on the District and Hammersmith & City lines and there are Overground trains to Canada Water, one stop away on the DLR from Canary Wharf. A number of well-connected bus routes throughout and Santander cycle stands.
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