Whitechapel is in the heart of London’s East End in London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and has a dubious reputation as the scene of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders in the late 1880s. A working class area with a largely Bangladeshi population, Whitechapel is centred on Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road, which are now part of the A11, and follows the ancient Roman road between the City of London and Colchester.
From the seventeenth century, Whitechapel became a destination for those seeking work in the capital, with the influx of migration leading to overcrowding and poverty retold in many of Charles Dickens’ novels including the Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. Dorset Street, which is now a private alley, was once described as “the worst street in London”.
Whitechapel is now known as one of the best places in London to dine out on curry, and longstanding favourites include Tayyabs. Fresh food can be found at the well respected Whitechapel Market, which runs between Vallance Road and Cambridge Heath Road Mondays to Saturdays, and sells everything from specialist Asian ingredients to fruit and veg, flowers and fabrics.
Recent years has seen Whitechapel as the backdrop for many TV and film productions including the Sherlock Holmes film The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire and four series of the TV series Whitechapel.