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Shoreditch is a district located in the Central and East London, and is in the East End. It is divided between the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. It is part of the traditional county of Middlesex, but for administrative purposes was part of the County of London following the passing of the Local Government Act 1888, it later became part of Greater London in 1965, and a historic entertainment quarter since the 16th century, today it hosts a number of pubs, nightclubs and bars[1][2]

Shoreditch
Shoreditch town hall3.jpg
Shoreditch Town Hall
Shoreditch is located in Greater London
Shoreditch
Shoreditch
Location within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ325825
• Charing Cross2.5 mi (4.0 km) WSW
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLONDON
Postcode districtEC1, EC2
Postcode districtE1, E2
Dialling code020
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
UK
England
London
51°31′34″N 0°04′41″W / 51.526°N 0.078°W / 51.526; -0.078Coordinates: 51°31′34″N 0°04′41″W / 51.526°N 0.078°W / 51.526; -0.078

The area straddling the quarter is Old Street, Shoreditch High Street and Brick Lane, it includes Shoreditch Church, Boxpark and Brick Lane Market. The district itself lies immediately to the north and north east of the City of London and Spitalfields and south and west of Bethnal Green.

Contents

History and featuresEdit

EtymologyEdit

Toponymists believe that the name comes from Old English "scoradīc", i.e. shore-ditch, the shore being a riverbank or prominent slope.[3]

One legend holds that the place was originally named "Shore's Ditch", after Jane Shore, the mistress of Edward IV, who is supposed to have died or been buried in a ditch in the area. This legend is commemorated today by a large painting, at Haggerston Branch Library, of the body of Shore being retrieved from the ditch, and by a design on glazed tiles in a shop in Shoreditch High Street showing her meeting Edward IV.[4]

But the area was known as "Soersditch" long before Jane Shore lived. London County Council Survey of London (v. 8) attests to at least thirty deeds between 1150 and 1250 CE which refer to Shoreditch. Another suggested origin for the name is "sewer ditch", in reference to a drain or watercourse in what was once a boggy area.[5] It may have referred to the headwaters of the Walbrook, which rose in the Curtain Road area.

In another theory, antiquarian John Weever claimed that the name was derived from Sir John de Soerdich, who was lord of the manor during the reign of Edward III (1327–77).[6]

OriginsEdit

 
Shoreditch church

Though now part of Inner London, Shoreditch was previously an extramural suburb of the City of London, centred on Shoreditch Church at the old crossroads where Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are crossed by Old Street and Hackney Road.

Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are a small sector of the Roman Ermine Street and modern A10. Known also as the Old North Road, it was a major coaching route to the north, exiting the City at Bishopsgate. The east–west course of Old Street–Hackney Road was also probably originally a Roman Road, connecting Silchester with Colchester, bypassing the City of London to the south.[7]

Shoreditch Church (dedicated to St Leonard) is of ancient origin. It is featured in the famous line "when I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch", from the English nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons".

Shoreditch was the site of a house of canonesses, the Augustinian Holywell Priory (named after a Holy Well on the site), from the 12th century until its dissolution in 1539. This priory was located between Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road to east and west, and Batemans Row and Holywell Lane to north and south. Nothing remains of it today.[8]

Elizabethan theatreEdit

 
Memorial to Elizabethan actors buried in Shoreditch church

In 1576, James Burbage built the first playhouse in England, known as "The Theatre", on the site of the Priory (commemorated today by a plaque on Curtain Road, and excavated in 2008, by MoLAS).[9] Some of Shakespeare's plays were performed here and at the nearby Curtain Theatre, built the following year[10] and 200 yards (183 m) to the south (marked by a commemorative plaque in Hewett Street off Curtain Road). It was here that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet gained "Curtain plaudits", and where Henry V was performed within "this wooden O". Shakespeare's Company moved the timbers of "The Theatre" to Southwark at the expiration of the lease in 1599, in order to construct The Globe. The Curtain continued performing plays in Shoreditch until at least 1627.[11]

The suburb of Shoreditch was attractive as a location for these early theatres because it was outside the jurisdiction of the somewhat puritanical City fathers. Even so, they drew the wrath of contemporary moralists, as did the local "base tenements and houses of unlawful and disorderly resort" and the "great number of dissolute, loose, and insolent people harboured in such and the like noisome and disorderly houses, as namely poor cottages, and habitations of beggars and people without trade, stables, inns, alehouses, taverns, garden-houses converted to dwellings, ordinaries, dicing houses, bowling alleys, and brothel houses".[12]

17th and 18th CenturiesEdit

During the 17th century, wealthy traders and French Huguenot silkweavers moved to the area, establishing a textile industry centred to the south around Spitalfields. By the 19th century, Shoreditch was also the locus of the furniture industry,[13] now commemorated in the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road. These industries declined in the late 19th century.

Victorian entertainmentsEdit

 
1867 Poster from the National Standard Theatre
 
1907 Hetty King sheet music, expressing a concern of modern residents

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shoreditch was a centre of entertainment to rival the West End and boasted many theatres and music halls:

  • The National Standard Theatre, 2/3/4 Shoreditch High Street (1837–1940). In the late 19th century this was one of the largest theatres in London. In 1926, it was converted into a cinema called The New Olympia Picturedrome. The building was demolished in 1940. Sims Reeves, Mrs Marriott and James Anderson all appeared here; also performed were programmes of classical opera and even Shakespeare, with such luminaries as Henry Irving. There was considerable rivalry with the West End theatres. John Douglass (the owner, from 1845) wrote a letter to The Era following a Drury Lane first night, in which he commented that "seeing that a hansom cab is used in the new drama at Drury Lane, I beg to state that a hansom cab, drawn by a live horse was used in my drama ... produced at the Standard Theatre ... with real rain, a real flood, and a real balloon."[14]
  • The Shoreditch Empire, also known as The London Music Hall, 95–99 Shoreditch High Street (1856–1935). The theatre was rebuilt in 1894 by Frank Matcham. the architect of the Hackney Empire. Charlie Chaplin is recorded as performing here, in his early days, before he achieved fame in America.[15]
  • The Royal Cambridge Music Hall, 136 Commercial Street (1864–1936), was destroyed by fire in 1896, then rebuilt in 1897 by Finch Hill, architect of the Britannia Theatre, in nearby Hoxton. The Builder of 4 December 1897 said "The New Cambridge Music Hall in Commercial Street, Bishopsgate, is now nearing completion. The stage will be 41 feet [12.5 m] wide by 30 feet [9.1 m] deep. The premises will be heated throughout by hot water coils, and provision has been made for lighting the house by electric light."

None of these places of entertainment survives today. Music hall was revived for a brief time in Curtain Road by the temporary home of the Brick Lane Music Hall.[16] This too has now moved on.

A number of playbills and posters from these music halls survive in the collections of both the Bishopsgate Institute and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Decline and BlitzEdit

The area declined in conditions, as did both textile and furniture industries with competition elsewhere and, by the end of the 19th century, Shoreditch was a byword for crime, prostitution and poverty.[10] This situation was exacerbated by the extensive devastation of the housing stock in the Blitz during the Second World War, and by insensitive redevelopment in the post-war period.

Contemporary cultureEdit

 
A coffee shop in Boxpark Shoreditch

Formerly a predominantly working-class area, since around 1996 Shoreditch has become a popular and fashionable part of London, particularly associated with the creative industries. Often conflated with neighbouring Hoxton, the area has been subject to considerable gentrification, with accompanying rises in land and property prices. Former industrial buildings have been converted to offices and flats, while Curtain Road and Old Street are notable for their clubs and pubs which offer a variety of venues to rival those of the West End. Art galleries, bars, restaurants, media businesses and the building of the Hackney Community College campus are features of this transformation.

More recently, during the second "dot-com" boom, both the area and Old Street have become popular with London-based web technology companies who base their head offices around the East London Tech City district. These include Last.fm, Dopplr, Songkick, SocialGO and 7digital. These companies have tended to gravitate towards Old Street Roundabout, giving rise to the term "Silicon Roundabout" to describe the area, as used by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech in November 2010.[17]

As a result, the name of Shoreditch has become synonymous with the concept of contemporary "hipsterfication" of regenerated urban areas. As a pioneer among similar transformations across the UK, various phrases have been coined, from "Shoreditchification" to "Very Shoreditch".[18] In September 2015, a demonstration against gentrification in London took the form of a protest at Cereal Killer Cafe, a hipster café on Brick Lane which serves cereal.[19]

ReconstructionEdit

 
South Shoreditch undergoing reconstruction in 2015

South Shoreditch has undergone an enormous transformation. Several five- or six-storey buildings have been knocked down in the area of Shoreditch that borders the City of London. In their place will be erected a variety of very tall buildings, mirroring the architectural styles in the City.[20] The developments will result in more residential units being available for sale in Shoreditch than were produced by the Olympics athletes' village.[20]

One landmark development is the Principal Tower in Worship Street, designed by the architects Foster and Partners,[21] and next to it is Principal Place, also designed by Foster and Partners. In July 2014, it was reported that the internet retailer Amazon.com was close to signing a lease to move its UK headquarters there. The project had been on hold since January 2012, when the anchor tenant, the law firm CMS Cameron McKenna pulled out. Soon after, the developer Hammerson sold its interest in the scheme to Brookfield.[22]

GeographyEdit

 
Map of Shoreditch, 1755

Shoreditch covers a wide area, but its historic heart lies south of Old Street, around Shoreditch High Street and Shoreditch Church. The districts of Hoxton and Haggerston have been historically part of Shoreditch since the medieval period and occupy the north-west and north-east of Shoreditch respectively; however, their extent has never been formally defined.

Although Shoreditch has been consistently defined, perceptions have blurred in recent years; something that became possible after the Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch amalgamated with some of its neighbours to become the southern part of the London Borough of Hackney in 1965.

The location of the former Shoreditch tube station (closed 2006), 400 metres outside Shoreditch proper, near Bethnal Green, influenced this shift. Its replacement, Shoreditch High Street station, straddles the borough boundary.

More significant has been the gentrification of the Shoreditch area since the millennium, leading to a marked increase in the area's prestige, which has led businesses in the Bethnal Green and Spitalfields areas of Tower Hamlets to include the name Shoreditch in their company's name and marketing material. This is also seen to a lesser extent in the St Luke's area of the London Borough of Islington.

AdministrationEdit

 
A map showing the wards of Shoreditch Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.

Shoreditch was an administrative unit with consistent boundaries from the Middle Ages until its merger into the London Borough of Hackney in 1965. Shoreditch was based for many centuries on the Ancient Parish of Shoreditch (St Leonard's), part of the county of Middlesex.

Parishes in Middlesex were grouped into Hundreds, with Shoreditch part of Ossulstone Hundred. Rapid Population growth around London saw the Hundred split into several 'Divisions' during the 1600s, with Shoreditch part of the Tower Division (aka Tower Hamlets). The Tower Division was noteworthy in that the men of the area owed military service to the Tower of London - and had done even before the creation of the Division[23] - an arrangement which continued until 1899.

The Ancient Parishes provided a framework for both civil (administrative) and ecclesiastical (church) functions, but during the nineteenth century there was a divergence into distinct civil and ecclesiastical parish systems. In London the Ecclesiastical Parishes sub-divided to better serve the needs of a growing population, while the Civil Parishes continued to be based on the same Ancient Parish areas.

For civil purposes, The Metropolis Management Act 1855 turned turned the parish area into a new Shoreditch District of the Metropolis, with the same boundaries as the parish. The London Government Act 1899 converted these areas into Metropolitan Boroughs, again based on the same boundaries, sometimes with minor rationalisations. The Borough's areas of Central Shoreditch, Hoxton and Haggerston were administered from Shoreditch Town Hall, which can still be seen on Old Street. It has been restored and is now run by the Shoreditch Town Hall Trust.

In 1965, Shoreditch was merged with Hackney and Stoke Newington to form the new London Borough of Hackney.

GovernanceEdit

Shoreditch is home to the Baron of Shoreditch Wei, who lives in the area and sits as a Conservative life peer and Lords Temporal as part of the House of Lords.[24] He was introduced on 3 June 2010.[25][26]

 
Official portrait of Meg Hillier (MP) of Hackney South and Shoreditch.

The Hackney borough part of Shoreditch is part of the Hackney South and Shoreditch constituency, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Meg Hillier of the Labour Party and of the Co-operative Party

The eastern part of Shoreditch, in Tower Hamlets, lies within the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow, represented since 2010 by Rushanara Ali of the Labour Party.

Notable local residentsEdit

EducationEdit

TransportEdit

RoadsEdit

In the mid-1960s, the main streets of Shoreditch (Old Street, Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road, Great Eastern Street) were formed into a mile-long one-way system, which became associated with traffic congestion, poor conditions for walking and cycling, high speeds, high collision rates, and delays for bus services. The gyratory system came to be seen as "the main factor holding back the cultural regeneration of South Shoreditch"[27] and "a block to economic recovery".[28] Following a lengthy campaign,[29] the then newly formed Transport for London agreed to revert most of the streets to two-way working, a project which was completed in late 2002.

Shoreditch High Street itself once formed a segment of the Roman Empire road system called Ermine Street (the original Celtic and Roman names for the route remain unknown.) which ran directly north from London (Londinium) to Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) and York (Eboracum).[30][31][32]

BusesEdit

London Buses provides all local bus services across the district: routes 8, 135, 205, 388, and N8 and N205 on Great Eastern Street and Bishopsgate; routes 26, 35, 47, 48, 67, 78 and night route N26 on Shoreditch High Street; and routes 55, 149, 242, 243 and night route N55 on Old Street.[33][34][35]

RailEdit

In 2005, funding was announced for the East London Line Extension, to extend the existing tube line from Whitechapel tube station bypassing Shoreditch tube station (which closed in June 2006 and was actually in Spitalfields), and to create a new station named Shoreditch High Street in Shoreditch proper. This is now served by London Overground services on part of the site of the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard, which was demolished in 2004.[36][37] The station was built on a viaduct and is fully enclosed in a concrete box structure. This is so future building works on the remainder of the Bishopsgate site can be undertaken keeping the station operational.[36][37]

London Overground began running 24-hour trains on Friday and Saturday nights between Dalston Junction and New Cross Gate which called at Shoreditch High Street from 15 December 2017.[38] but bypasses Whitechapel and continues on to Shadwell due to ongoing construction work for Crossrail (Elizabeth line) until 2019.[39]

 
Shoreditch tube station, closed in 2006 as part of the East London Line extension.

Shoreditch has no access to the London Underground, but did have a station named after it in nearby Spitalfields which was called Shoreditch tube station on the East London line that closed down in 2006.[40] There has since been some consideration of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green at Shoreditch High Street, where the line runs almost underneath the station. However, this could not be seriously contemplated before the completion of the Crossrail 1 project, owing to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.[41][42]

A south-west to north-east tube line called the Chelsea-Hackney line was proposed in 1970 by the then London Transport Board's London Rail Study as the next project after the completion of the Victoria line and the Fleet line (now the Jubilee line) and would have had a new tube station near Shoreditch Church if built.[43]


Disused stations

Nearest placesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "9: Annex – Delivering Placemaking". Local Development Framework (PDF) (Report). Tower Hamlets. 2009. pp. 99–103.
  2. ^ "London's Places" (PDF). London Plan. Greater London Authority. 2011. p. 46. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2019.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Clunn, H.P. (1970) The Face of London. Spring Books: London. pp. 312, 493
  5. ^ Mander 1996, p. 13.
  6. ^ Timbs, John (1855). Curiosities of London: Exhibiting the Most Rare and Remarkable Objects of Interest in the Metropolis. D. Bogue. p. 729.
  7. ^ Sugden n.d.
  8. ^ Wood 2003.
  9. ^ Shakespeare's Shoreditch theatre unearthed Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, Thursday, 7 August 2008
  10. ^ a b "The Shoreditch You Never Knew - Made in Shoreditch Magazine". 15 September 2014.
  11. ^ Shapiro 2005.
  12. ^ Middlesex Justices in 1596; cited in Schoenbaum 1987, p. 126.
  13. ^ Cleaver, Naomi (5 August 2005). "Roving eye: Shoreditch". The Daily Telegraph.
  14. ^ "Shoreditch Theatres and Halls". Arthur Lloyd. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Shoreditch Empire" (PDF). Over the Footlights. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Brick Lane Music Hall".
  17. ^ Duncan Geere. "Transcript: David Cameron sets out Britain's hi-tech future". Wired. Archived from the original on 23 March 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Why this 'Shoreditchification' of London must stop". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. ^ Feargus O'Sullivan (30 September 2015). "Breakfast of Gentrifiers How a London café that specializes in cereal became the latest flashpoint in the city's ongoing gentrification debate". CityLab. Retrieved 30 September 2015. When Londoners talk about regeneration, gentrification and the supposed cascade of bars, beards and real estate bubbles they bring in their wake, they typically talk about the café's home neighborhood of Shoreditch.
  20. ^ a b "Three More Shoreditch Skyscraper Proposals". Londonist. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  21. ^ Principal Tower, Worship Street, London EC2A 2BA: New Developments - Principal Tower, Worship Street, London EC2A 2BA, accessdate: 29/08/2014
  22. ^ Building: Amazon interest could revive Principal Place tower | Online News | Building, accessdate: 29/08/2014
  23. ^ The London Encyclopaedia, 4th Edition, 1983, Weinreb and Hibbert
  24. ^ BBC 中文网 (17 June 2010). "視頻:英國華裔男爵韋鳴恩專訪一" [Video: British Chinese baron Nat Wei Exclusive Interview 1]. BBC 中文网. BBC. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  25. ^ "No. 59437". The London Gazette. 3 June 2010. p. 10273.
  26. ^ "House of Lords debates (3 June 2010, 11:00 am): Introduction: Lord Wei". Hansard : House of Lords : 3 June 2010 : Column 365. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  27. ^ Teo Greenstraat of The Circus Space, quoted in More Light, More Power, No. 6, Autumn 2000.
  28. ^ Michael Pyner of Shoreditch New Deal Trust, quoted in More Light, More Power, No. 6, Autumn 2000.
  29. ^ The long road back to a two-way Shoreditch Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Hackney Cyclists, 2002.
  30. ^ Historic England. "Monument No. 325760". PastScape. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  31. ^ Whitewell, J.B. (1970). Roman Lincolnshire. History of Lincolnshire. 2. Lincolnshire local history society. pp. 64, 65.
  32. ^ Margary, Ivan D. (1967). Roman Roads in Britain. London: John Baker.
  33. ^ "Shoreditch High Street Station". Transport for London.
  34. ^ "Shoreditch High Street Station". Transport for London.
  35. ^ "Shoreditch Town Hall". Transport for London.
  36. ^ a b "New era of rail travel as London Overground's east London route opens to the public" (Press release). Transport for London. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  37. ^ a b "Full service begins on newly extended East London Line". BBC News Online. London. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  38. ^ Busby, Mattha (15 December 2017). "London Overground goes 24-hour, joining night tube". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  39. ^ "London Overground to run a 24-hour service just like the Night Tube" (Press release). Metro. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  40. ^ Baker, Thomas, ed. (1998). "Stepney: Communications". A History of the County of Middlesex. 11. London: Victoria County History. pp. 7–13. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  41. ^ https://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2014/12/central-line-interchange-for-ell-could.html
  42. ^ Hawkins, John. "Meeting Reports: The East London Line Extension" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society.
  43. ^ "London Transport plans third new Tube Line". The Times. UK. 2 January 1970.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit