Shoreditch is a district in London, England. It is within Central London and East London 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 Bethnal Green 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 Spitalfields and south and west of Bethnal Green.
One legend 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
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 Walbrook, which rose in the Curtain Road area.
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.
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 Huguenot 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 Geffrye Museum 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 the Blitz during the Second World War, and by insensitive redevelopment in the post-war period.
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 new tech district East London Tech City. 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.
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 gentrification in London took the form of a protest at Cereal Killer Cafe, a hipster café on Brick Lane which serves cereal.
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 Bethnal Green, 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 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.
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.
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.
In eastern Shoreditch which is in Tower Hamlets, it falls under the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow, represented since 2010 by Rushanara Ali of the Labour Party, while
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.
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 Hackney Road 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 Chingford at night as the N26) was introduced in 1992 to replace the withdrawn section of route 6 between Hackney Wick and Aldwych.
Shoreditch is connected to the London Underground network, sharing a station with St Luke's for the Northern line 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 Spitalfields close to Brink Lane 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 Crossrail project is complete, due to extreme crowding on the Central line during peak hours.
Districts of the London Borough of Islington