The history of the Whitechapel district in London is not for the faint of heart! This area in the East End London is most well known for its sordid days gone by in the 19th and 20th centuries. Have you ever heard of the notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper? Well, he committed all of his crimes in Whitechapel.
If I’ve piqued your interest, keep reading for a quick history of Whitechapel district in London!
Shop-front of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry by Julian Osley – geograph.org.uk
The Whitechapel district gets its name from two streets that run down the middle of the area: Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road. Both streets are named for a small chapel that was destroyed during the Blitz in London during World War II.
There isn’t much information out there on Whitechapel before the 16th century, but by that point, the area was known as the undesirable half of London. Businesses such as slaughterhouses, tanneries, breweries, and foundries were placed in this area, as these types of places tended to be dirty and polluted. The Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which would go on to make the Philadelphia Liberty Bell and Big Ben’s bell, was located (of course) in Whitechapel.