There is now a sign up in Mitre Square – where the murder of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth victim of Jack the Ripper, was murdered on 30th September 1888 – suggesting that it is to close as a public right of way.
To be honest, Mitre Square itself isn’t particularly attractive and, since the large office block that surrounds it has been closed and derelict now for several years, it has looked even worse.
There is, however, a certain melancholy feel to the corner where Catherine’s murder took place. A flower bed actually stands, more or less, on the site and, in a way, it provides an unintentional memorial to Catherine Eddowes.
For many years this corner was, and in some quarters still is, known as “Murder Corner”.
It is the site on which we end our Jack the Ripper Tour as we make our way around the sites and investigate those long ago crimes night after night. The eerie thing about it is that the cobblestones, of which much of he square is made up, really do give the feel of Victorian London and, in a way, serve as a conduit between our age and that of 1888.
Very soon it, like almost all the other sites, will be nothing more than a distant memory.
But, in a way, that is the very essence of the East End of London. Indeed, it is the essence of London at large. London is not a museum. London is a thrusting, vibrant city and, for that matter, a hugely modern city.
In its 2,000 years of existence it has been destroyed by fire (on several occasions) , and it has been bombed. Yet it always rises from its ashes, because London is, and always will be, a survivor.
We don’t know for certain, yet, exactly when Mitre Square will be bulldozed. So it’s worth booking on to the Jack the Ripper Tour so that you can see it before it goes.