Print-friendly version of this page Spitalfields is near to Liverpool Street station and Brick Lane.
George Street was a street running north-south from Flower and Dean Street
to Wentworth Street
, crossing Thrawl Street
approx. half way along its length..
It was laid out by Thomas and Lewis Fossan c.1657.
As with the other streets in the neighbourhood, it had become known for its common lodging houses by the 1880s.
George Street was at the centre of the Flower and Dean Street
rookery and consequently its slum buildings were completely demolished to make way for the Charlotte De Rothschild Dwellings and Lolesworth Buildings on its west side (1886), Ruth and Helena Houses (1895-7) on the east side and finally Keate and Spencer Houses (1908) also on the east side.
It was renamed Lolesworth Street on 11 July 1893.
After the demolition of the model dwellings (1973-80) and the building of the Flower and Dean Estate (1982-4) Lolesworth Street ceased to exist, though the present Flower and Dean Walk marks the approximate route. The Rothschild Buildings arch to the south of the estate stands at the former junction of George and Wentworth Street
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Common lodging house in George Street, from the Illustrated Police News, 15 September 1888.
Illustrated Police News
The area straddles Commercial Street and is home to several markets, including the historic Old Spitalfields Market, and various Brick Lane Markets on Brick Lane and Cheshire Street. Petticoat Lane Market lies on the area's south-western boundaries.
The name Spitalfields appears in the form Spittellond
in 1399; as The spitel Fyeld on the 16th-century Civitas Londinium map associated with Ralph Agas. The land belonged to St Mary Spital, a priory or hospital erected on the east side of the Bishopsgate thoroughfare in 1197, and the name is thought to derive from this. An alternative, and possibly earlier, name for the area was Lolsworth
After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Spitalfields was inhabited by prosperous French Huguenot silk weavers. In the early 19th century their descendants were reduced to a deplorable condition due to the competition of the Manchester textile factories and the area began to deteriorate into crime-infested slums. The spacious and handsome Huguenot houses were divided up into tiny dwellings which were rented by poor families of labourers, who sought employment in the nearby docks.
The area has recently attracted a IT-literate younger population.