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Property Spitalfields

Spitalfields Area Guide

History of Spitalfields

Spitalfields was the site of a huge Roman cemetery which was excavated only recently as Spitalfields market was being redeveloped. The finds included a sarcophagus of a Roman woman with many accessories suggesting she was of high status.

During the 12th century, a Priory and "The New Hospital of St Mary without Bishopgate" was built on the Roman site. It became known as St Mary Spital. The hospital and priory were destroyed under Henry VII.

Spitalfields has a strong history of attracting refugee populations. The first was French Protestants fleeing France in the late 17th century. With them came their skills in the manufacture and trade of silk. Large rich merchants terraced houses were built, man of which survive to this day. The textile industry established by the Huguenots was to later attract Jewish refugees in the 19th century followed by Irish immigrants later on. By the mid 19th century, the area had degenerated into slums with the merchants’ houses being occupied by many families living in overcrowded insalubrious conditions. It also attracted crime and prostitutes. Mary kelly was killed by Jack the Ripper in Dorset Street.

Still attracted by the textile industry in the area, the late 20th century saw a new influx of immigrants in the area, but this time from Bangladesh. This also resulted with nearby Brick Lane which is now famed for its curry restaurants.

The current Spitalfields market is on the site of a meat and vegetable market established in 1682. It si now a famed Sunday market attracting hords of visitors where one can buy anything from new designer’s jewelry or clothes, antique or new furniture as well as organic foods and products.

Today, Spitalfields is one of the most desirable areas of London. It attracts affluent people from the City, the media and the art scene. Prices have rocketed as a result, driving many of the poorer people away. Properties range from ex-local authority, to georgian houses or new build high spec loft apartments. With its markets, bars and clubs, one can live there and not feel the need to venture out of the nearby area.


Places of interest Click here for more information

Christ Church (Hawksmoor) • Spitalfields market (Sundays) • Brick lane Market (Sundays) • Spitalfields City farm


Transport Links Visit Transport for London for more information

Liverpool Street – British Rail to East of England and Stanstead Airport / Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Circle Lines

Aldgate East – Hammersmith & City and District Lines


Local Authority

Tower Hamlets

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