Mile End is recorded in 1288 as ’La Mile ende’ and means ’the hamlet a mile away’.
It was a mile distance from Aldgate in the City of London as reached by the London to Colchester road.
In around 1691 Mile End became known as Mile End Old Town because a new unconnected settlement to the west and adjacent to Spitalfields had taken the name Mile End New Town.
Excavations have suggested there were very few buildings before 1300.
Mile End Road
moved to its present-day alignment after the foundation of Bow Bridge in 1110. In the medieval period, it was known as ‘Aldgatestrete’, as it led to the eastern entrance to the City of London at Aldgate. The area running alongside Mile End Road
was known as Mile End Green, and became known as a place of assembly for Londoners, as reflected in the name of Assembly Passage.
For most of the medieval period, this road was surrounded by open fields on either side. Speculative developments existed by the end of the 16th century and continued throughout the 18th century. It developed as an area of working and lower-class housing, often occupied by immigrants and migrants new to the city.
Mile End was hit by the first V-1 flying bomb to strike London. On 13 June 1944, this ’doodlebug’ impacted next to the railway bridge on Grove Road
Mile End underground station was opened in 1902 by the Whitechapel & Bow Railway. Electrified services started in 1905. The first services were provided by the District Railway (now the District line); the Metropolitan line followed in 1936 In 1988 this section of the Metropolitan was renamed the Hammersmith & City line.
In 1946 the station was expanded and rebuilt by the Chief Architect of London Underground, Stanley Heaps and his assistant Thomas Bilbow, as part of the Central line eastern extension, with services starting on 4 December 1946.