Stepney and Whitechapel
Stepney and Whitechapel are inner city districts in the heart of the old East End. The Victorian working class of notorious Whitechapel were once described as 'The People of the Abyss', and the area’s poor and colourful past has caused it to figure prominently in works such as 'Oliver Twist' by Charles Dickens and fiction featuring the notorious 'Jack the Ripper'. Whitechapel retains its literary and artistic connections and the area today is lively and cosmopolitan, figuring prominently in London's art scene. Home to the 'rag trade' there is a healthy Asian community. Stepney is steeped in history, the Tower of London falls within its boundaries. It has more of a village feel to it and its many conservation areas contain the more desirable properties. Wapping deteriorated dramatically following extensive German bomb damage and post-war closure of the Docks, and it wasn't until the boom of the 1980's that commercial, light industrial and residential property development transformed its fortunes.
New developments and refurbishments abound as city workers discover the advantages of living within striking distance of the city centre and the Docklands. There is a general mix of period and modern housing ranging from listed Georgian buildings, Victorian mansion blocks, smaller Victorian terraced housing and post-war high-density, as well as modern, council homes. The modern luxury waterside apartments and warehouse conversions are for the wealthier professionals and there are affordable 1 and 2 bed flats for the locals.
A wide spectrum of society resides in E1. Wealthier professionals attracted by luxury apartments with a river view, and younger professionals working in the City and the Docklands. Hunting ground for ex-council properties. Local east-end families yet to benefit.