The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer
OLD and NEW TOWNS MILE-END, hamlets in the parish of Stepney, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone county Middlesex, 2 miles E. of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Here are stations on the Great Eastern and North London railways. The two towns form one of the most extensive suburbs of E. London, stretching in a line from W. to E. along the principal road to Essex, and forming part of the metropolitan borough of the Tower Hamlets. The New Town covers about a quarter of a mile square to the N. of the Whitechapel-road, and is bounded by the parishes of Bethnal Green and Spitalfields, while the Old Town is 2 miles in length by half a mile broad, and lies between the Commercial-road and the Great Eastern railway. The latter is traversed by the Regent's canal and the Mile-End-road, and is only partially built over.

In the rebellion under Jack Cade, in the reign of Henry VI., the insurgents encamped here for some days, threatening the metropolis. At the commencement of the Civil War in the reign of Charles I. earthworks were thrown up here by order of Parliament for the defence of the City, and in 1645 Mile-End was held by the Parliamentary general the Earl of Essex. Many of the streets are well built, but others are only partially paved and lighted with gas, and the houses of an inferior class. There are several handsome ranges of buildings and fine squares in the Old Town, as Henry, Sidney, Arbour, Trafalgar, and Tredegar; also Beaumont Place, where is situated the philosophical institution built by J. Beaumont, Esq., in 1840, at a cost of £6,000. Here are Charington's and other extensive breweries, a large distillery, floor-cloth manufactories, a tobacco-pipe manufactory, rope walks, docks, timber and corn wharfs on the Regent's canal, &c. Besides about a dozen churches and chapels, some of which are spacious, there are numerous public buildings, including the Baptist College, founded in 1810, and situated in the New Town, the Whitechapel Union poorhouse also in the New Town; the City of London and Stepney poorhouses in the Old Town, the former an imposing structure with a chapel and a campanile clock tower 90 feet high, and covering 4½ acres; a court-house for the 'K' division of the Metropolitan police; Mile-End public offices, commercial gas works; East London lying-in institution; Newy Tozadik, or German Jews' hospital and Asylum; Portuguese Jews' hospital; the Skinners', Vintners', Sailmakers', Drapers', Seamen's, Judge Fuller's, and Fisher's almshouses, with chapels, &c., also numerous foundations and other schools, water works, East London and part of the Tower Hamlets cemeteries; two large cemeteries belonging to the Portuguese Jews, and one to the German or Dutch Jews, in which are interred several of the Rabbins and other distinguished Jews. [See articles London and Stepney.]

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
This description is intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.