cover image

East End of London

Area of London, England / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about East End of London?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old


The East End of London, often referred to within the London area simply as the East End, is the historic core of wider East London, east of the Roman and medieval walls of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It does not have universally accepted boundaries to the north and east, though the River Lea is sometimes seen as the eastern boundary. Parts of it may be regarded as lying within Central London (though that term too has no precise definition). The term "East of Aldgate Pump" is sometimes used as a synonym for the area.

Dorset Street, Spitalfields, photographed in 1902 for Jack London's book The People of the Abyss

The East End began to emerge in the Middle Ages with initially slow urban growth outside the eastern walls, which later accelerated, especially in the 19th century, to absorb pre-existing settlements. The first known written record of the East End as a distinct entity, as opposed to its component parts, comes from John Strype's 1720 Survey of London, which describes London as consisting of four parts: the City of London, Westminster, Southwark, and "That Part beyond the Tower". The relevance of Strype's reference to the Tower was more than geographical. The East End was the urbanised part of an administrative area called the Tower Division, which had owed military service to the Tower of London since time immemorial. Later, as London grew further, the fully urbanised Tower Division became a byword for wider East London, before East London grew further still, east of the River Lea and into Essex.

The area was notorious for its deep poverty, overcrowding and associated social problems. This led to the East End's history of intense political activism and association with some of the country's most influential social reformers. Another major theme of East End history has been migration, both inward and outward. The area had a strong pull on the rural poor from other parts of England, and attracted waves of migration from further afield, notably Huguenot refugees, Irish weavers, Ashkenazi Jews and in the 20th century, Bengalis.

The River Lea at Stratford, with the Olympic Stadium under construction in June 2011

The closure of the last of the Port of London's East End docks in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration, with Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park[1] among the most successful examples. Paradoxically, while some parts of the East End are undergoing rapid change and are amongst the areas with the highest mean salary in the UK [2], it also continues to contain some of the worst poverty in Great Britain.[3]

Oops something went wrong: