Nearest Tube: Whitechapel
Whitechapel is a district of the East End of London, situated just east of The City and north of Wapping. The chapel that the district is named after is the parish church of St Mary, which dates from the 13th century.
The area was first developed in the 15th century when trades such as metalworking were deemed to be too noisy to be located in The City. The trades were re-located to the east of The City and you can still see evidence of this in Fieldgate Street, where the Whitechapel Bell Foundry still operates - it was founded in 1420!
And it was also from this period that the district's association with poverty and crime dates from. Much of the housing was poor, and by Victorian times Whitechapel had become synonymous with working class poverty - as epitomised in the works of Charles Dickens.
The district also has a long association with Jewish immigrants, the first influx of which came in the 17th century. In the late 19th and early 20th century there was another flood of Jewish immigration, but since then London's Jewish population has largely relocated to other districts.
In the last few decades the area has undergone some significant redevelopment and so it is a far cry from the run-down slums of its past. Today Whitechapel has a large Bangladeshi community whose influence can be felt in the shops and restaurants of the district.
But throughout Whitechapel's history there is one figure from the district's past that stands out more than any other - Jack the Ripper. For this is where London's most famous criminal killed his victims.
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