Mile End Road, E1

Mile End – more specifically the turnpike on Whitechapel Road at the crossroads with Cambridge Heath Road – was situated one mile from Aldgate; hence the name. It was first recorded in 1288 and known as Aldgatestrete. 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.

During the medieval period, the Mile End Road was surrounded by expansive open fields. As the centuries progressed, speculative developments emerged, resulting in a mix of working-class and lower-class housing. This area often attracted immigrants and newcomers to the city seeking residence.

Notably, the Mile End Road played a significant role in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, as Wat Tyler and his followers gathered here. Furthermore, in 1657, Oliver Cromwell granted permission for the establishment of a Jewish cemetery along the Mile End Road.

Starting from 1800, Stepney began expanding towards the southern side of the Mile End Road. This led to the development of a district known as Mile End New Town, situated east of Brick Lane. The section of houses along the Mile End Road itself became known as Mile End Old Town.

Captain Cook’s House, dating back to the 18th century, stands as a reminder of a time when the land surrounding the Mile End Road was open on both sides, allowing travellers approaching London to catch glimpses of ship masts.

Various notable architectural structures emerged along the road. In 1717, Anthony Ireland constructed a terrace, while Thomas Andrews built Malplaquet House in 1741-1742. Nearby, Bellevue Place, Maria Terrace, and Mile End Place stand as dignified examples of housing designed for local industry workers, including brewery workers and artisans.

It became the fashion for Eastenders to promenade along the Mile End Road at weekends, dressed in their Sunday best and admiring the shop windows.

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