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London: a Life in GoogleMaps

4. Out of sight: the East End

The East End developed during the 16th century to deal with the increased number of ships coming to and leaving from London. Cheek-by- jowl with pockets of wealth and elegance, ships anchored and unloaded.The area generated the wealth that was spent in the West End, but until the early 19th century it was not felt worthy of inclusion on most maps. Mapping really came to the fore in the East End with the development of massive new docks which enabled London to cope with an enormous increase in trade in the late 18th century and forced East London onto all future maps of London. These docks were masterpieces of engineering and a source of patriotic pride during the Napoleonic wars. No-one thought of those rendered homeless in the process.

Click the pins on the Google Map above or follow the links below to view some of the key maps in our Online Gallery.

Survey of the Parish of St Leonard in Shoreditch, 1745
Charles Booth's 'Poverty Map', 1889
Plan for the Proposed Victoria Park, 1841
View of the Entrance from Mile End or Whitechapel Turnpike, 1798
Old houses, Aldgate, c.1882-86
Detail showing Bow from Bowles Folding map of London, 1731
Elevated view of the New Dock in Wapping, 1803
Plan of the Proposed London Docks, Daniel Alexander, 1797
Map of London showing the London and West India Docks, 1804

Next section:
The age of improvement

Discover more:
Virtual Exhibition
Roman urbs to Stuart city
1. Roman Urbs to Stuart City
Life in the Eighteenth century
2. Life in the 18th century
Sweet salutary air
3. Sweet and salutary air
4. Out of sight: the East end
The age of improvement
5. The age of improvement
Victorian London
6. Victorian London
Vox pop
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