Aldgate East is a much better meeting point
Our Jack the Ripper walk starts at Aldgate East Underground which is right at the heart of Jack the Ripper’s London and is the only place to begin your Jack the Ripper Walking Tour of London.
Other Jack the Ripper London walks begin at Tower Hill Underground Station. But, if you do join a Jack the Ripper Tour that starts at Tower Hill Underground Station, you will spend the first hour walking through well lit, busy streets that are lined with modern office blocks and where there is very little atmosphere. Furthermore it will be forty to forty five minutes before you even arrive at a Jack the Ripper related site, or even get to see a street that survives from 1888.
From Aldgate East You Follow A More Chronological Route
The route that our Jack the Ripper walk takes has been designed to get straight into the area where the murders occurred and to give you a much better understanding of what the neighbourhood was like when Jack the Ripper stalked the very alleyways and passageways through which you will immediately start walking. Within one minute we are passing a building that survives from 1888 and where one of the major suspects actually worked! Within two minutes you’ve arrived at an actual murder site, and within five minutes you’re passing another murder site.
In short, by starting at Aldgate East – which is one stop after Tower Hill on the Underground – you get the true atmosphere of Jack the Ripper’s London from the off.
But don’t just take our word for it
We’ll prove it to you now by taking you around our route step by step.
Our Jack The Ripper Tour Step by Step
Stop One: The White Hart Pub
The White Hart Pub, a true Jack the Ripper landmark, in the basement of which major suspect George Chapman worked as a barber in 1890.
Stop Two: Gunthorpe Street
Once past the pub, we turn through a sinister arch and walk along an atmospheric, cobble-stoned alley which has the true ambience of the 1880′s. This alley really does draw gasps from tour participants when they first encounter it. It is atmospheric enough today, but we pass around a photograph of it, which was taken in 1890, and shows you what it would have been like at the time of the murder. See for yourself how little it has changed! A little way along we will pause outside a building on which is emblazoned the year it was built 1886, and your guide will reveal how it featured in the Jack the Ripper story.
Stop Three: The First Murder Site
It was at the top of this alleyway that Martha Tabram (who some maintain was Jack the Ripper first victim) was murdered in August 1888, and we pause at the site of her murder to show you a photograph of what it looked like at the time of her murder.
Stop Four: Brick Lane
A few seconds walk from the site of Martha Tabram’s murder we arrive at the junction of Osborne Street and Brick Lane where Emma Elizabeth Smith, the first murder victim whose name appears on the generic Whitechapel Murders file, was attacked in the early hours of 3rd April 1888.
Stop Five: Ye Frying Pan
Just two minutes walk from there is the Frying Pan Pub. Mary Nichols, who is generally held to have been the first of Jack the Ripper’s victims, was seen leaving this pub shortly before her mutilated body was discovered in nearby Bucks Row. Although the usage of the building has changed we point out the two Frying pans that can still be seen high up on its exterior, as well as the original name Ye Frying Pan.
Stop Six: The Old Streets of Spitalfields
Moments later we have turned into a veritable warren of atmospheric old streets where all the houses look the same as they did in 1888. These streets provided the backcloth against which the Jack the Ripper saga unfolded and they really do give you the feeling that you’ve stepped back in time.
Stop Seven: Hanbury Street
These delightful old streets lead us to Hanbury Street where Annie Chapman, the second victim of Jack the Ripper was murdered. Although the murder site has now been obliterated by an ugly brewery building, several houses opposite are just as they were in 1888 and, because you have walked through streets that are more or less identical to what Hanbury Street looked like, you will be able to picture what the house was like. But even if you can’t we pass round several photographs of number 29 – and of Hanbury Street itself – that were taken shortly after the murder.
Remember at this point people who started their tour from Tower Hill underground station are only just arriving at their first murder site and have yet to see a building, or even walk along a street that has survived as it was in 1888. Ask yourself, which route would you rather have taken?
Stop Eight: Christchurch
A short walk from Hanbury Street and we arrive outside the wonderful Christchurch, Spitalfields. This solid, white edifice dates from the 18th century and is one of the most poignant buildings on the tour. It dominates its surroundings today, it dominated its surroundings in 1888 and, as your guide will point out, every one of Jack the Ripper’s victims would have looked up at its soaring spire on an almost daily basis.
Opposite stands the Ten Bells Pub, which has changed little since the 19th century, and a pub that was frequented by at least two of Jack the Ripper’s victims.
Stop Nine: Dorset Street
We make our way along what was Dorset Street and pause by what was the entrance to Miller’s Court (it is still visible), where Mary Kelly, who is generally held to have been the last victim of Jack the Ripper, was murdered in her room in the early hours of November 9th 1888. We pass around photographs of the entrance and of the room in which she was murdered.
Looming over the far end of Dorset Street is the bulk of the Providence Row night Shelter. In 1888 this was a Convent that offered shelter to the poor and destitute of the district. It also features in one of the more bizarre theories concerning the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Stop Eleven: Goulston Street
From here we head to Goulston Street where, on the left, we pause outside the Wentworth Street Model Dwellings, which were built in 1886. It was in a doorway of this building that Jack the Ripper left his only clue and where a chilling chalked message was found scrawled upon the wall. We show you the exact doorway where these chilling events occurred and pass around a photograph of it as it was in 1888.
A little further along we turn right and then left into Middlesex Street, better known the world over as Petticoat Lane. It stands on the boundary of the City of London and the East End of London. At the end of Middlesex Street we enter the night of the double murder (30th September 1888.)
We begin by telling you of the murder of Elizabeth Stride whose body was found at 1am in nearby Berner Street. Although we don’t actually go to Berner Street itself (for one thing it no longer exists), we show you a photograph of it taken shortly after the murder. We also reveal how a witness may well have seen Elizabeth Stride in the act of being murdered.
Stop Twelve: Mitre Square
Our tour ends in Mitre Square where you will stand on the site where the body of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper was discovered at 1.45am on 30th September 1888. We pass round several photographs of Mitre Square taken shortly after the murder so that you can get the true ambience of the spot on which you stand.
It is here that we tie up the loose threads of the evening and end by revealing the identity of Jack the Ripper.
So there you have it. An exact step by step guide to our atmospheric Jack the Ripper tour route that covers eleven locations that are linked to the case and which explores a whole warren of streets and alleyways that really do give you the feel of that long ago autumn of terror when a lone, menacing figure, who was stalking the very places that you have explored, held the whole of the East End in a grip of terror.