Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
The Mysterious East
Including Bermondsey and Deptford
East of St Paul's lies a huge area offering much of interest to the London perambulator.
Parts of the East End, especially Limehouse, have already been discussed; they are,
however, only a few of the East End parishes where discoveries are to be made, in tours
taking in such places as Wapping, Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, and the Whitechapel and
Commercial Roads. One can start at Stepney Green Underground Station, close to Char-
rington's brewery. Here in Stepney Green are a few old houses remaining from what, in
the eighteenth century, must have been a quiet village green. The old houses have been al-
lowed to decay and shops are built out in front on the usual London system, but there are
the remains of carved and pedimented doorways here and there. These and the old alms-
houses give some indication of the quality of the place before it decayed. There is at least
one house with a hooded, shell-patterned porch and some bits of rather good ironwork. The
almshouses, originally built by the Corporation of Trinity House, were for 'decayed masters
and commanders of ships or the widows of such', and were built in 1695. The almshouses
have been successfully restored after war damage. But more unusual is the pretty little Bel-
levue Place, illustrated above. Bellevue Place is off Stepney Green, down a little street by
the side of the brewery. A green gate opening in the wall leads to a totally unexpected corner
of London, one that may well disappear if Charrington's, who own the property, ever decide
to expand. Bellevue Place is well named. It is a cul-de-sac with a paved pathway leading
to the far end, under a creeper-covered wall. The cottages are early nineteenth century, and
have true cottage gardens fenced with wooden rails, pointed at the top. Here are unbeliev-
ably rural gardens, full of lilac, roses, hydrangeas, wallflowers, lupins, and delphiniums -
all a minute's walk from the Mile End Road.
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