You’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing of Jack the Ripper’s London has survived. fter all the march of time, the London Blitz of the Second World War, and property devlopers have all played a hand in chnging the East London landscape a great deal in the last 120 years.
Yet there are large parts of Spitalfields and Whitechapel that would still be recognisable to a 19th century resident were they to return today and take a walk around the area.
Around Aldgate East, where our Jack the Ripper Tour begins, you have a whole swathe of streets and buildings that have survived. Just across the road from our starting point, for example, there is the White Hart Pub, which is still quenching the thirst of Londonners just as it did in 1888.
Next to the White hart is the sinister arch through which Martha Tabram, who some believe was the first victim of Jack the Ripper, probably stepped with her killer in the early hours of the 8th August 1888.
Having walked through the arch you enter the wonderfully atmospheric Gunthorpe Street, which in 1888 was called George Yard. On the right is an old building on the upper levels of which is emablaxoned the year of its construction – 1886.
It looks down on the cobblestones of George yard, just as it did in 1888. Martha Tabram would probably have gone past this building with her killer in the early ours of the 8th August 1888, as her body was discovered on a landing of George Yard Buildings, whhich used to stand on the left at the top of George Yard, but which was demolished in the early 1980’s. Not to worry though because we have a great photograph of it and we passit around on our Jack the Ripper Tours so that our clients can see exactly what it looked like.
So, as you can see, within a few short minutes of the start of our tour, we have shown our clients several buildings that have survived from Jack the Ripper’s day and the night is still young.