Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour
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Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour

Throughout history, women have played vital roles in shaping society, yet their achievements have often been overlooked or forgotten. This walk aims to shine a light on the extraordinary women who founded charities, fought for workers’ rights, and paved the way for future generations.

  • Discover unknown stories of women
  • Walk amongst iconic buildings in the City
  • Qualified London tour guide
90 mins linear walk
Step-free
Individual tickets £20

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Begin your exploration at one of the few remaining Jewish synagogues in the area, an awe-inspiring edifice dating back to 1766. Originally constructed as a chapel, it was later repurposed by Ashkenazi Jews in the 19th century, following a collective community effort to adapt it for their religious practices and customs. Though the building may not boast a large regular congregation today, it retains significant cultural heritage and is a Grade 2 listed structure.

Meander through one of East London’s most photogenic streets, where resplendent Georgian buildings stand as a legacy to the Huguenot merchant weavers of the 17th century. These individuals, who fled religious persecution, coined the term ‘refugee’ and forever altered the English language.

Further highlights include a foray down a street echoing with a myriad of cultural histories—from a music hall with a heart-rending story, to the remarkable endeavours of women’s rights activist Annie Besant, who was instrumental in aiding the match girl strikers and subsequently influencing the trade union movement.

Finally, immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of Brick Lane, a hotspot renowned for its scrumptious street food and vivid street art. Gain an understanding of the layered contributions of various immigrant communities that have collectively shaped this area into the vibrant hub it is today.

Don’t miss this unparalleled opportunity to deepen your understanding of East London’s rich history with Bex Couper, a qualified London tour guide. This is more than a walk; it’s an educational odyssey that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for one of London’s most multifaceted and historically significant areas.

Spitalfield’s riches are discoverable when you look very, very closely.

  • Start: Liverpool Street Station
  • End: Spitalfields Market
  • Duration: 90 minutes
Your Guide: Daniel Hausherr

Secrets of Spitalfields Walking Tour Reviews

60 or 61 AD

Boudicca

Boudicca, also known as Boadicea, was a Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe in ancient Britain during the 1st century AD. She is renowned for her leadership in a significant rebellion against the Roman occupation of Britain. After the death of her husband, King Prasutagus, the Romans attempted to annex the Iceni lands and mistreated Boudicca and her people. In response, Boudicca led a widespread uprising that targeted Roman settlements, including Camulodunum (modern-day Colchester), Londinium (modern-day London), and Verulamium (modern-day St. Albans).

18th Century

Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry's work in prison reform not only changed the lives of countless prisoners but also helped shift societal attitudes toward the incarcerated. Her compassion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to humanitarian principles left an indelible mark on the history of prison reform and social justice.

Tudor Period

Elizabeth Barton

The Holy Maid of Kent, also known as Elizabeth Barton, was a 16th-century Englishwoman who gained prominence as a visionary and prophetess during the early years of the Protestant Reformation. Born around 1506, she lived during a tumultuous period in English history marked by religious and political upheaval.

Medieval

Queen Isabella

Also known as the 'She-Wolf of France,' was a notable historical figure who lived in the 14th century. She was the wife of King Edward II of England and the mother of Edward III. Her nickname, the 'She-Wolf of France,' suggests her perceived ruthless and ambitious nature. After her death her heart was given to the Franciscans at Greyfriars, London where her spirit is believed to haunt.

Roman

Fortunata

Found amongst the London mud a number of fragile wooden writing objects have been preserved along the Walbrook river. A Gallic slave-girl called Fortunata is one mentioned in these rare writings.

Tudor

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey, also known as the "Nine-Day Queen," was born in 1537, and a descendant of King Henry VII and a relative of King Edward VI. Her brief but intriguing reign took place in 1553 when, upon the death of Edward VI, she was proclaimed queen of England due to her Protestant beliefs and her connection to the Tudor bloodline. However, her rule was short-lived, lasting only nine days, as a power struggle ensued between her supporters and those favouring the Catholic Mary Tudor, also known as "Bloody Mary." Jane was subsequently imprisoned in the Tower of London, and despite her youth and innocence, she was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Her tragic fate highlighted the religious and political turbulence of the era and serves as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by those who found themselves entangled in the intricate web of Tudor power dynamics.

Victorian London

Mary Harris Smith, FCA

A trailblazing figure in the history of accounting, renowned as the world's first female chartered accountant. Born in the late 19th century, she shattered gender barriers and societal norms to make her mark in the field of finance. With her pioneering achievement, she not only propelled the accounting profession towards inclusivity but also inspired countless women to venture into traditionally male-dominated industries. In the face of prevailing gender biases, Mary Harris Smith's determination and aptitude led her to become a Chartered Accountant, earning the prestigious FCA designation. Mary's legacy remains an enduring reminder of the power of persistence and resilience in the pursuit of professional aspirations, and her historic achievement continues to resonate with individuals striving to overcome obstacles and forge their own path in the world of finance.

Victorian London

Mary Harris Smith, FCA

A trailblazing figure in the history of accounting, renowned as the world's first female chartered accountant. Born in the late 19th century, she shattered gender barriers and societal norms to make her mark in the field of finance. With her pioneering achievement, she not only propelled the accounting profession towards inclusivity but also inspired countless women to venture into traditionally male-dominated industries. In the face of prevailing gender biases, Mary Harris Smith's determination and aptitude led her to become a Chartered Accountant, earning the prestigious FCA designation. Mary's legacy remains an enduring reminder of the power of persistence and resilience in the pursuit of professional aspirations, and her historic achievement continues to resonate with individuals striving to overcome obstacles and forge their own path in the world of finance.

1912

Emmeline Pankhurst

A prominent suffragette and leader of the British women's suffrage movement, found herself on trial at the Guildhall in London, a pivotal event in the history of women's rights activism. The trial, which took place in the early 20th century, symbolised the enduring struggle for gender equality and the right to vote. Pankhurst's unwavering determination to challenge societal norms and demand equal rights for women led her to engage in acts of civil disobedience and protest, which ultimately led to her arrest and subsequent trial.

20th Century

Lord Mayors of London

Since the establishment of the Lord Mayor's office in the 12th century, women have gradually gained access to this traditionally male-dominated position. From the early pioneers like Dame Mary Donaldson, who became the first female Lord Mayor in 1983, to more recent figures such as Fiona Woolf and Fiona Adler, these women have demonstrated remarkable resilience and acumen in steering the City's affairs.

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