Spitalfields and Brick Lane
Into the east end of London
(Photos/words © urban75, 3rd February 2007)
Continuing our City walk, we headed into Spitalfields Market and then up Brick Lane.
Like many parts of London, the area is in a state of flux, with the City of London effectively expanding into the area with the recent construction of large modern office blocks between Bishopsgate and Spitalfields Market.
Situated on Commercial Street, just outside the eastern border of the City of London, is Christ Church Spitalfields, a dominating structure by Nicholas Hawksmoor.
Started in 1714 and completed in 1729, the massive construction was the Anglican's church's way of saying, "we're the boss!" to the growing French Huguenots population in the area.
By 1960, the building had become so run down that the roof was deemed unsafe with services being held elsewhere. Being the 1960s, there were even plans to demolish this remarkable structure.
A series of restoration programs saw the portico at the west end repaired and cleaned in 1986, and the 202 ft tower and spire consolidated and cleaned in 1997.
Hawksmoor's magnificent double flight of steps on the south side were reinstated in 1999, with the interior enjoying a full restoration in 2004.
Luminaries and Visionaries exhibition at Kinetica art gallery, inside the old Spitalfields Market.
Although the exhibition was a bit Nathan Barley, it was kind of fun and some of the pieces were interesting.
Taking the lift down the ground floor of the gallery.
Ten Bells public house, Commercial Street, Spitalfields. This is reputed to be the pub where Jack the Ripper met his prostitute victims.
Entrance to the premises of S Schwartz.
Brick Lane, junction with Princelet Street, E1.
Dray Walk off Brick Lane.
Old bank sign with the Truman brewery chimney - a local landmark - in the background.
The lively Coffee@ Brick Lane cafe, 157 Brick Lane, serving up fair trade coffee. Respect!
Brick lane view.
Blackman's shoe stores on the corner of Cheshire Street and Grimsby Street.
Lower East Side-style graffiti in London! Motorcycle spares shop in Grimsby Street, E1.
Grimsby Street at night.
Corner of Brick Lane and Sclater Street, an area once noted for its live bird market:
"Here was to be seen the East End bird-fancier in all his glory, surrounded by his pets and his pals. This little Street in Shoreditch forms the common meeting-ground for buyer and seller, chopper and changer...One side of the crowded thoroughfare is entirely taken up with shops, in the windows of which are to be seen all manner of wicker and fancy cages—from the largest 'breeder' to the tiniest 'carrying cage '— and birds of every description dear to the fancy—linnets, mules, canaries, chaffinches, bullfinches, starlings, and 'furriners.' "
Graffiti on Sclater Street, which runs along the soon-to-be-developed remains of Bishopsgate station.
Long live Graffiti!
Night watchman, Sclater Street, London E1
New additions to the skyline going up near Liverpool Street.
Walking down Bishopsgate with the 'Erotic Gherkin' (Lord Foster's Swiss Re building) in the distance.
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