Shoreditch is a district in the East End of London, which is divided between the of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. It is part of the traditional county of Middlesex, but for administrative purposes became part of the County of London following the passing of the Local Government Act 1888, and part of Greater London in 1965. It has been known as an entertainment quarter since the 16th century, and today hosts a number of pubs, nightclubs and bars; while to the east of Shoreditch High Street and north of /ref>
The area straddles Old Street, Shoreditch High Street and Brick Lane, and includes Shoreditch Church, Boxpark and Brick Lane Market. It lies immediately to the north and north east of the City of London and Spitalfields, and south and west of Bethnal Green. In 2005 the area along with neighbouring Haggerston suffered a terrorist attack on a London Buses route 26 bus in the 21 July 2005 London bombings on Hackney Road.
Folk etymology 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.Clunn, H. P. (1970) The Face of London. Spring Books: London. pp. 312, 493 However, the area was known as "Soersditch" long before Jane Shore lived. The Survey of London attests to some 26 deeds dating from between c. 1148 and 1260 which refer to Shoreditch.
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 (132777).
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 Camulodunum, bypassing the City of London to the south.Sugden n.d.
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.Wood 2003.
William Shakespeare's early plays were first performed in Shoreditch, at The Theatre and at the nearby Curtain Theatre, built the following year and to the south (marked by a commemorative plaque in Hewett Street off Curtain Road). Romeo and Juliet was first performed here, gaining "Curtain plaudits", Henry V was performed within "this wooden O" and an early version of Hamlet was also first staged in Shoreditch.
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 Theatre. The Curtain continued performing plays in Shoreditch until at least 1627.Shapiro 2005.
The suburb of Shoreditch was attractive as a location for these early theatres because, like Southwark, 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".Middlesex Justices in 1596; cited in Schoenbaum 1987, p. 126.
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.
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.
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". 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.
In 2014, the disused Shoreditch tube station was used as a "Pop-up retail" cinema: in summer the auditorium was furnished with six-person hot tubs from which to watch the films while in winter the concept was "bring your own pillow" to use on bean bag style beds.
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. The developments will result in more residential units being available for sale in Shoreditch than were produced by the Olympics athletes' village.
One landmark development is the Principal Tower in Worship Street, designed by the architects Foster and Partners,Principal Tower, Worship Street, London EC2A 2BA: New Developments - Principal Tower, Worship Street, London EC2A 2BA, accessdate: 29/08/2014 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.Building: Amazon interest could revive Principal Place tower | Online News | Building, accessdate: 29/08/2014
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.
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. 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 DivisionThe London Encyclopaedia, 4th Edition, 1983, Weinreb and Hibbert - 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.
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.
Shoreditch High Street itself once formed a segment of the Roman Empire Roman roads called Ermine Street (the original Common Brittonic and Latin language names for the route remain unknown.) which ran directly north from London ( Londinium) to Lincoln ( Lindum Colonia) and York ( Eboracum).
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. but bypasses Whitechapel and continues on to Shadwell due to ongoing construction work for Crossrail (Elizabeth line) until 2019.
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. 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 project, owing to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.
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.