London is, most certainly, an ever changing city and this applies particularly to the East End of London. It isn’t difficult to see why this should be. Bordering the City of London – the wealthiest square mile on earth – the East End is perfect for those who just seek a simple commute into the banks and insurance companies that have always been the City’s stock in trade.
Whitechapel and Spitalfields, being, quite literally, just across the border are now incredibly sought after and, over the last fifteen years, an incredible amount of redevelopment has taken place in the district.
Indeed, some of the streets are hardly recognisable compared to how they appeared 10 or so years ago.
This particularly applies to the Jack the Ripper murder sites, which began to see demolition and redevelopment within a few years of the end of the Whitechapel Murders.
So, for today’s blog, I thought it would be nice to enjoy a little trip down memory lane and visit the various murder sites as they were before time and progress wiped them from the face of the earth.
So, if you are ready, please board our time capsule for a journey into bygone London.
STOP ONE – DURWARD STREET
Durward Street was formerly Buck’s Row and it was here that Mary Nichols, who is generally considered to have been the first of Jack the Ripper’s victims, was murdered on August 31st 1888. The murder site was just before the line of houses to the right of the photo.
STOP TWO – HANBURY STREET
A week after the murder of Mary Nichols, on the 8th September 1888, the ripper struck again and murdered Annie Chapman in the backyard of number 29 Hanbury Street. This view shows the backyard as it was. Annie’s body was found on the ground between the step and the fence.
STOP THREE – BERNER STREET
On the 30th September 1888, after an absence of several weeks, the ripper returned to the streets of the East End and murdered Elizabeth Stride in Berner Street. Her body was found in Dutfield’s Yard, the entrance to which can be seen here with the wheel over it.
STOP FOUR – MITRE SQUARE
Following the murder of Elizabeth Stride, the killer headed over to the City of London where he met Catherine Eddowes, who had just walked free from Bishopsgate Police Station. He murdered her in this corner of Mitre Square, where her body was found at 1.45am by PC Watkins.
STOP FIVE – MILLER’S COURT
We can only speculate as to why no murders took place throughout the whole of October 1888. But, on the 9th November 1888, the ripper returned and claimed the life of Mary Kelly, whom many believe was the last of his victims. Her murder took place in Miller’s Court, shown here in the late 1920’s.
WHY NOT JOIN OUR TOUR?
So, there you have your journey back into the East End of London as it appeared at the time of the murders.
If you would like to visit those sites as they are today, and be able to peruse these photos at the scenes of the crimes, then you can always join us on our nightly walking tour of the sites and discover for yourself the streets and locations on which the eyes of the World became focussed in the autumn of 1888.