Product Code Database
Example Keywords: trousers -television $71-123
   » » Wiki: Shoreditch
Tag Wiki 'Shoreditch'.

Shoreditch is a district in , England. It is within and and located in the East End, and is divided between the boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Islington. A historic entertainment quarter since the 16th century, today it hosts a number of nightclubs and bars to the west, while the east is primarily residential.

In Tower Hamlets, a small part of Shoreditch is a small exclave separated by from the rest of the district, it is considered part of the district due to the now-closed Shoreditch tube station location. The district itself lies immediately to the north and north east of the City of London while the exclave lies north and east of and south and west of .


Toponymists believe that the name comes from "scoradīc", i.e. shore-ditch, the shore being a riverbank or prominent slope.

One legend holds that the place was originally named "Shore's Ditch", after , 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 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

But the area was known as "Soersditch" long before Jane Shore lived. London County Council Survey of London (v. 8) attests to at least thirty deeds between 1150 and 1250 CE which refer to Shoreditch. Another suggested origin for the name is "sewer ditch", in reference to a drain or watercourse in what was once a boggy area.Mander 1996, p. 13. It may have referred to the headwaters of the , which rose in the area.

In another theory, antiquarian claimed that the name was derived from Sir John de Soerdich, who was lord of the manor during the reign of Edward III (132777).

Though now part of , Shoreditch was previously an suburb of the City of London, centred on Shoreditch Church at the old crossroads where Shoreditch High Street and are crossed by and .

Shoreditch High Street and Kingsland Road are a small sector of the Roman and modern A10. Known also as the Old North Road, it was a major coaching route to the north, exiting the City at . The east–west course of Old Street–Hackney Road was also probably originally a Roman Road, connecting Silchester with , 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 (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.

Elizabethan theatre
In 1576, built the first playhouse in England, known as "", on the site of the Priory (commemorated today by a plaque on Curtain Road, and excavated in 2008, by ). Shakespeare's Shoreditch theatre unearthed Maev Kennedy, , Thursday, 7 August 2008 Some of Shakespeare's plays were performed here and at the nearby , built the following year and to the south (marked by a commemorative plaque in Hewett Street off Curtain Road). It was here that Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet gained "Curtain plaudits", and where Henry V was performed within "this wooden O". Shakespeare's Company moved the timbers of "The Theatre" to at the expiration of the lease in 1599, in order to construct The . 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 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.

During the 17th century, wealthy traders and French silkweavers moved to the area, establishing a textile industry centred to the south around Spitalfields. By the 19th century, Shoreditch was also the locus of the furniture industry, now commemorated in the on Kingsland Road. The area declined in conditions, as did both textile and furniture industries with competition elsewhere and, by the end of the 19th century, Shoreditch was a byword for crime, prostitution and poverty. This situation was exacerbated by the extensive devastation of the housing stock in during the Second World War, and by insensitive redevelopment in the post-war period.

Victorian entertainments
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shoreditch was a centre of entertainment to rival the West End and boasted many theatres and :

  • The National Standard Theatre, 2/3/4 Shoreditch High Street (1837–1940). In the late 19th century this was one of the largest theatres in London. In 1926, it was converted into a cinema called The New Olympia Picturedrome. The building was demolished in 1940. , Mrs Marriott and James Anderson all appeared here; also performed were programmes of classical opera and even Shakespeare, with such luminaries as . There was considerable rivalry with the West End theatres. John Douglass (the owner, from 1845) wrote a letter to The Era following a Drury Lane first night, in which he commented that "seeing that a hansom cab is used in the new drama at Drury Lane, I beg to state that a hansom cab, drawn by a live horse was used in my drama ... produced at the Standard Theatre ... with real rain, a real flood, and a real balloon."
  • The Shoreditch Empire, also known as The London Music Hall, 95–99 Shoreditch High Street (1856–1935). The theatre was rebuilt in 1894 by . the architect of the . is recorded as performing here, in his early days, before he achieved fame in America.
  • The Royal Cambridge Music Hall, 136 Commercial Street (1864–1936), was destroyed by fire in 1896, then rebuilt in 1897 by , architect of the Britannia Theatre, in nearby . The Builder of 4 December 1897 said "The New Cambridge Music Hall in Commercial Street, Bishopsgate, is now nearing completion. The stage will be wide by deep. The premises will be heated throughout by hot water coils, and provision has been made for lighting the house by electric light."

None of these places of entertainment survives today. Music hall was revived for a brief time in Curtain Road by the temporary home of the Brick Lane Music Hall. This too has now moved on.

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.

Contemporary culture
Shoreditch has, since around 1996, become a popular and fashionable part of London. Often conflated with neighbouring Hoxton, the area has been subject to considerable in the past twenty years, with accompanying rises in land and property prices.

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 new tech district East London Tech City. These include, , , 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 in a speech in November 2010.

Formerly a predominantly working-class area, Shoreditch and Hoxton have, in recent years, been gentrified by the creative industries and those who work in them. Former industrial buildings have been converted to offices and flats, while Curtain Road and Old Street are notable for their clubs and pubs which offer a variety of venues to rival those of the West End. Art galleries, bars, restaurants, media businesses and the building of the Hackney Community College campus are further features of this transformation.

In fact, the word Shoreditch is now 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 in London took the form of a protest at Cereal Killer Cafe, a hipster café on Brick Lane which serves cereal.

Shoreditch covers a wide area, but its historic heart lies south of Old Street, around Shoreditch High Street and Shoreditch Church. The sub-districts of and have been part of Shoreditch since the medieval period and occupy the north-west and north-east of Shoreditch respectively; however, their extent has never been formally defined.

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, in , influenced this shift - though its replacement Shoreditch High Street straddles the traditional 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 lead businesses in the and 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.

The maximum southern extent of the informal overlap with Tower Hamlets approximates to northern Commercial Street, Buxton Street and Allen Gardens. The more residential parts of Shoreditch as well as Shoreditch High Street that fall under E1 and E2, while the rest of Shoreditch including Old Street falls under the EC1 and EC2.

Shoreditch was an administrative unit with consistent boundaries from the until its merger into the London Borough of Hackney in 1965. Shoreditch was based for many centuries on the Ancient Parish of Shoreditch (St Leonard's), part of the county of .

Parishes in Middlesex were grouped into Hundreds, with Shoreditch part of Hundred. Rapid Population growth around London saw the Hundred split into several 'Divisions' during the 1600s, with Shoreditch part of the . 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, and 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 of the Labour Party and of the Co-operative Party

In eastern Shoreditch which is in Tower Hamlets, it falls under the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow, represented since 2010 by of the Labour Party, while

South Shoreditch is currently undergoing 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.

Notable local residents
  • , photographer
  • Andrew Weatherall, DJ, producer, and remixer
  • , cookbook author, teacher and chef specialising in the cuisines of the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa
  • , comedian, film and television actress was born there.
  • Bill Meyer, printmaker and artist
  • Christopher Marlowe, lived in , the southern continuation of Shoreditch High Street, and wrote plays for the Shoreditch theatres.
  • , artist; instrumental in the development of the area's art scene in the early 1990s
  • , TV presenter/socialite
  • , celebrity tattoo artist; clients include , Alexander McQueen, and
  • , a famous male impersonator of the , was born here. Her father, William Emms, was a local comedian known as William King.
  • Hoxton Tom McCourt, influential in the late 1970s and early 1980s mod and oi/punk scenes and founder of the band, the 4-Skins, was born in Shoreditch in 1961.
  • , actor and impresario: built ; buried in Shoreditch church
  • , bare knuckle
  • , Spanish model and actor lives here
  • , FRS (1800–1865), a pioneer of the
  • , curator & founder of Factual Nonsense; instrumental in the development of the area's art scene in the early 1990s; lived & died in Charlotte Road.
  • Luke Evans, Welsh singer, musical performer and film actor lives here
  • , singer dubbed "the singer's singer" and "the British Sinatra", famous for singing the title songs of the films , From Russia with Love, and 'On Days Like These' from the film The Italian Job
  • , T4 presenter
  • Nat Wei, Baron Wei, youngest non-hereditary peer ever upon entry to the House of Lords and government advisor on Big Society
  • , comedian, film and television actor
  • Paul Galvin, Irish fashion designer and former Gaelic footballer
  • , actor in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, Shakespeare's own Company. Renowned for his performance of Shakespeare's greatest roles: Hamlet, Richard III, etc. Buried in the church.
  • , comedian. Shakespeare's is believed to be a homage to his memory. Buried in Shoreditch church.
  • , actor and comedian
  • , graffiti artist and designer
  • Thomas Fairchild (gardener),the first person who succeeded in scientifically producing an artificial hybrid
  • William James Blacklock, British landscape artist, was born in Shoreditch in 1816
  • , Henry VIII's jester; buried in Shoreditch church.



Shoreditch High Street was once the main street of Shoreditch, and formally apart of , a in that ran directly north from ( ) to Lincoln ( ) and ( ).P.H.Blair, An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge,2003),p.256

In the mid-1960s, the main streets of Shoreditch (Old Street, Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road, Great Eastern Street) were formed into a mile-long one-way system, which became associated with traffic congestion, poor conditions for walking and cycling, high speeds, high collision rates, and delays for bus services. The gyratory system came to be seen as "the main factor holding back the cultural regeneration of South Shoreditch"Teo Greenstraat of The Circus Space, quoted in More Light, More Power, No. 6, Autumn 2000 and "a block to economic recovery".Michael Pyner of Shoreditch New Deal Trust, quoted in More Light, More Power, No. 6, Autumn 2000 Following a lengthy campaign, The long road back to a two-way Shoreditch Hackney Cyclists, 2002 the then newly formed Transport for London agreed to revert most of the streets to two-way working, a project which was completed in late 2002.

provides all local bus services the district, 8, 135, 205, 388, and N8 and N205 on Great Eastern Street and Bishopsgate, 26, 35, 47, 48, 67, 78 and night route N26 on Shoreditch High Street, 55, 149, 242, 243 and night route N55 on Old Street.

A 26 bus was a target during the 21 July 2005 London bombings by would-be bomber Muktar Said Ibrahim who attempted to explode a device while the bus was on from Waterloo which caused a small explosion but there was no significant damage or lose to life. Windows Blown Out Of Number 26 Bus Sky News 21 July 2005 The 26 itself (continues to at night as the N26) was introduced in 1992 to replace the withdrawn section of route 6 between and .

(2019). 9781854143037, Capital Transport.

In 2005 funding was announced for the East London Line Extension which would extend the existing tube line from Whitechapel tube station bypassing Shoreditch tube station (which closed in June 2006) and creating a new station titled Shoreditch High Street closer to the centre of Shoreditch, this is now served by London Overground services at the site of the old Bishopsgate Goods Yard which was demolished in 2004.

Shoreditch is connected to the London Underground network, sharing a station with St Luke's for the at Old Street tube station at the extreme edge of Shoreditch, it is also a National Rail station for the Northern City Line served by Great Northern services.

Before it closed in 2006, Shoreditch tube station in close to on the East London line. There has since been discussions of creating an interchange with the Central line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green at Shoreditch High Street which runs almost underneath the station. However, this would not be able to happen until after the project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.

Nearest places

See also

  • Ackroyd, Peter (2000) London: The Biography. Chatto & Windus, London.
  • Clifton, L. (2002) Baby Oil and Ice: Striptease in East London. The Do-Not Press Limited: London.
  • Harrison, P. (1985) Inside the Inner City: Life Under the Cutting Edge. Penguin: Harmondsworth.
  • Schoenbaum, S. (1987) William Shakespeare: a Compact Documentary Life, OUP.
  • Shapiro, J. (2005) 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare. Faber and Faber, London.
  • Sugden, K. (n.d.) Under Hackney: The Archaeological Story. FHA.
  • Taylor, W. (2001) This Bright Field. Methuen: London.
  • Wood, M (2003) In Search of Shakespeare. BBC Worldwide, London.

External links

Districts of the London Borough of Islington

Page 1 of 1
Page 1 of 1


Pages:  ..   .. 
Items:  .. 


General: Atom Feed Atom Feed  .. 
Help:  ..   .. 
Category:  ..   .. 
Media:  ..   .. 
Posts:  ..   ..   .. 


Page:  .. 
Summary:  .. 
1 Tags
10/10 Page Rank
5 Page Refs
5s Time