Dickens and London
     The East End 

The East End c. 1800

The inner East End, stretching from the City to the River Lea, was originally farm land, part of the parish of St Dunstan Stepney (the church is still on the same site and today's building dates from the 13th century.  As London became an important port the East End was gradually built up along the river and from the late 17th century the silk industry became important and spread east from Spitalfields on the eastern fringes of the City.

During the 19th century urbanisation became rapid and the East End turned into a series of working class suburbs.  The silk industry collapsed, precipitating the economic decline of the whole East End which became known for  poverty and deprivation.  

This web  site includes articles on the Bishop of London's mid 19th century drive to build ten new Bethnal Green Churches, the surviving Pubs in the Whitechapel Road and on East End schools..