Horrors in the Mist
The East End
The East End, also known as the worst slum in Victorian London. A place of social degeneration, depravation and corruption. A maze of rotting streets, crumbling buildings and dark alleys.
If you are unlucky enough or, depending on the point of view, if God bears you a grudge, you probably ended up living in one of the miserable and cramped houses of this area. Since the late 16th century, the suburb of Whitechapel and the surrounding area had started becoming ‘the other half’ of London. Located east of Aldgate, outside the City Walls and beyond official controls, the place attracted the less fragrant activities of the city, particularly tanneries, breweries, foundries and slaughterhouses. By the 1840s the East End had evolved, or devolved, into a conglomerate of filth and depression, with problems of poverty and overcrowding.
Nowadays, the East End is known for the high density low quality prostitutes, for the most horrible crimes in the city of London and for its cultural melting-pot. Whitechapel Road, the main road in this suburb, is not particularly squalid through most of its well lighted stretches, it is the warrens of small dark streets branching from it that contain the greatest suffering, filth and danger and are collectively known as “the worst streets in London”.
The Metropolitan Police estimated that there are 1,200 prostitutes “of very low class” resident in Whitechapel and Spitalfields and about 62 brothels where clients can have fun, get a disease or get mugged.
Spitalfields was originally the location of one of Roman London’s largest extramural cemeteries, situated to the east of the Bishopsgate and after, in 1197, the former Roman cemetery became the site of one of the biggest hospitals in medieval England and was the focus of a large medieval cemetery which included a stone charnel house and mortuary chapel. Both chapel and charnel are actually lost in the tangle of streets and alleys but digging too much in the filthy soil can still provide incredible, bony, surprises.
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