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East End

The history behind the East End of London - the home of cockneys - begins just outside of the traditional Roman boundaries of the City of London.
The area began as a group of villages all congregating around the road joining London to Colchester and was seen as a place of peace and tranquility compared to the business in London' city streets. As London grew and became must more industrialised, the East End followed suit causing its reputation to be tarnished with its unpleasant fumes of factory work. Dueto the large influx of immigrants coming into the town via the docks, there was a lack of jobs in the market which caused cramped, dangerous and unsanitary living conditions. Its reputation was further damaged by the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper who terrorised the East End. It took until the end of WW2 for the state of living to improve greatly, however, most of the area was bombed due to its dock being a key manufacturing centre.

Now, the East End stands proudly as part of the most powerful financial districts in the world, with Canary Wharf proudly at its feet.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in London
Tower of London
One of England's first Norman castles, as well as its most feared prison and the home of the Crown Jewels.
Jack the Ripper
Follow the footsteps of London's infamous (and unidentified) serial killer, who terrorised the city's East End in Victorian times.
Museum of London
A great museum dedicated to the history and evolution of London.
Shoreditch Street Art
Grafitti and alternative art by Banksy, Eine, Sweet Toof, Stik and many more.
Barbican
Theatre for Film, Theatre and Dance
Sampling Studio, Old Truman Brewey
Fashion studio set up by Eddie Gavriilidis in the heart of Brick Lane, the Old Truman Brewery. Commissioned on pieces for Lady Gaga among other, they have gained a reputation for high-end fashion.

Related Tours

The Ripper Enigma Group Walking Tour
Nothing has had a greater impact on criminal history than the series of murders attributed to Jack the Ripper. With the finding of the body of Mary Ann Nichols in the early hours of the morning of 31 August 1888, the story begins with a spate of serial killings which were to become the most enigmatic murders ever to come under the scrutiny of criminologists worldwide. Mystery continues to surround the Ripper enigma.


Fuelled by the press, suspicion took hold of the population of the time. Was the killer the mysterious ‘Leather Apron’? Was it one of the Jewish immigrants who spoke their own unfamiliar language? Or was it a doctor, looking for body parts?

The grotesque mutilation of the bodies, and the sensationalism of the press, kept the people of London in awe of the mysterious killer.

The Ripper killings ended with the gruesome murder of Mary Jane Kelly on 9 November – or did they? Maybe the killings carried on into the 1890's and beyond?

Or maybe they ended with the notorious ‘Double Event’ of 30 September 1888?

This tour does not offer a solution to the Ripper murders, nor does it seek to glorify the grim activities of the murderer. Rather, we seek to understand the murders and their significance. We do so through buildings surviving from the time which tell the story of the murders and illustrate their context.

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