London 5: East

The Buildings of England series
Cherry, Bridget
O'Brien, Charles
Pevsner, Nikolaus
Date published: 
April 2005

The buildings of East London reflect a chequered history of economic change, social need, urban renewal, and conservation. Along the Thames relics of a powerful industrial and maritime past at Wapping, Limehouse and the Isle of Dogs remain among the glossy new offices and smart riverside flats of the former Docklands. In the fast-changing historic East End, where the City edges ever closer, Hawksmoor's monumental Baroque churches still tower over their surroundings, while Georgian houses of prosperous silkweavers are juxtaposed with philanthropic institutions which catered for the Victorian poor of Spitalfields, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green. The contribution of successive generations of immigrants is reflected in the variety of places of worship and cultural centres, from chapels to synagogues and mosques, while a century of social housing has produced innovative planning and architecture, now itself of historic interest. Further out, in London-over-the-border, medieval churches and merchants' country mansions lie embedded among the suburban streets of Walthamstow and Woodford, and proud civic buildings of the busy towns of Barking, Stratford, Ilford and Romford. On the outer fringes there are still fragments of the ancient Forest of Essex, and traditional rural buildings among the marshes and farmland of the Essex countryside.

This volume covers the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. For each area there is a detailed gazetteer and historical overview. Numerous maps and plans, over one hundred specially-taken photographs and full indexes make this volume invaluable as both reference work and guide.

London 5: East is the fifth in the six-volume London series of The Buildings of England. Already published: London 1: the City of London, London 2: South, London 3: North West, London 4: North and London 6: Westminster. Also available in paperback: London: The City Churches.