| Town Hall, Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 2BG, United Kingdom|
7.63 sq mi
| Tower of London, Museum of London Docklands, Whitechapel Gallery, Prospect of Whitby, One Canada Square|
Hackney Town Hall, London Borough of Newham, Idea Store Whitechapel, Barking & Dagenham Racial Equality Council
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets ( ) is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks and Canary Wharf. Many of the tallest buildings in London occupy the centre of the Isle of Dogs in the south of the borough. A part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is in Tower Hamlets. The borough has a population of 272,890, which includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in the capital and has an established British Bangladeshis business and residential community. Brick Lanes restaurants, neighbouring street market and shops provide the largest range of Bengali cuisine, woodwork, carpets and clothes in Europe. The local authority is Tower Hamlets London Borough Council.
Tower Hamlets is located to east of the City of London and north of the River Thames in east London. The London Borough of Hackney lies to the north of the borough while the River Lea forms the boundary with the London Borough of Newham in the east. On the other side of the Thames is The London Borough of Southwark to the southwest, The London Borough of Lewisham to the South, and The Royal Borough of Greenwich to the southeast. The River Lea also forms the boundary between those parts of London historically in Middlesex, with those formerly in Essex.
The Isle of Dogs is formed from the lock entrances to the former West India Docks and the largest current meander of the River Thames and the southern part of the borough forms a part of the historic flood plain of the River Thames; and but for the Thames Barrier and other flood prevention works would be vulnerable to flooding.
The Regents Canal enters the borough from Hackney to meet the River Thames at Limehouse Basin. A stretch of the Hertford Union Canal leads from the Regents canal, at a basin in the north of Mile End to join the River Lea at Old Ford. A further canal, Limehouse Cut, Londons oldest, leads from locks at Bromley-by-Bow to Limehouse Basin. Most of the canal tow-paths are open to both pedestrians and cyclists.
Victoria Park was formed by Act of Parliament, and administered by the LCC and its successor authority the GLC. Since the latter authoritys abolition, the park has been administered by Tower Hamlets. Part of the borough is within the boundary of the Thames Gateway development area.
The earliest apparent use of the name "Tower Hamlets" was in the sixteenth century, when the Constable of the Tower of London commanded the Tower Hamlet Militia as the Lord Lieutenant of Tower Hamlets. The Hamlets of the Tower paid taxes for the militia in 1646.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets forms the core of the East End. It lies east of the ancient walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Use of the term "East End" in a pejorative sense began in the late 19th century, as the expansion of the population of London led to extreme overcrowding throughout the area and a concentration of poor people and immigrants in the districts that made it up. These problems were exacerbated with the construction of St Katharine Docks (1827) and the central London railway termini (1840–1875) that caused the clearance of former slums and rookeries, with many of the displaced people moving into the area. Over the course of a century, the East End became synonymous with poverty, overcrowding, disease and criminality.
The East End developed rapidly during the 19th century. Originally it was an area characterised by villages clustered around the City walls or along the main roads, surrounded by farmland, with marshes and small communities by the River, serving the needs of shipping and the Royal Navy. Until the arrival of formal docks, shipping was required to land goods in the Pool of London, but industries related to construction, repair, and victualling of ships flourished in the area from Tudor times. The area attracted large numbers of rural people looking for employment. Successive waves of foreign immigration began with Huguenot refugees creating a new extramural suburb in Spitalfields in the 17th century. They were followed by Irish weavers, Ashkenazi Jews and, in the 20th century, Bangladeshis. Many of these immigrants worked in the clothing industry. The abundance of semi- and unskilled labour led to low wages and poor conditions throughout the East End. This brought the attentions of social reformers during the mid-18th century and led to the formation of unions and workers associations at the end of the century. The radicalism of the East End contributed to the formation of the Labour Party and demands for the enfranchisement of women.
Official attempts to address the overcrowded housing began at the beginning of the 20th century under the London County Council. World War II devastated much of the East End, with its docks, railways and industry forming a continual target, leading to dispersal of the population to new suburbs, and new housing being built in the 1950s. During the war, in the Boroughs making up Tower Hamlets a total of 2,221 civilians were killed and 7,472 were injured, with 46,482 houses destroyed and 47,574 damaged. The closure of the last of the East End docks in the Port of London in 1980 created further challenges and led to attempts at regeneration and the formation of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The Canary Wharf development, improved infrastructure, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park mean that the East End is undergoing further change, but some of its districts continue to contain some of the worst poverty in Britain.
The borough hosts the world headquarters of many global financial businesses, employing some of the highest paid workers in London, but also has a high rates of long term illness and premature death and the 2nd highest unemployment rate in London.Island History Trust
Museum of London Docklands
Ragged School Museum
V&A Museum of Childhood
Whitechapel Art Gallery
The Womens Library