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Butler & Stag

Spitalfields | E1

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Spitalfields Area Info

Spitalfields Area Info

Spitalfields in East London has a rich market history which includes Spitalfields Market, Old Spitalfields Market and Petticoat Lane. Located in the London Borough of Hackney, Spitalfields is all about community with an inclusive, rich multicultural vibe, young, trendy nightspots, swanky eateries, cutting edge businesses and an eclectic mix of arty, gender fluid creative hotspots.

Living here feels like you’re part of something new and exciting. You’re never far away from an art gallery, a market, a coffee shop or other stylish hangout – there’s always plenty to see and do seven days a week, and all of it is on your doorstep.

Properties in Spitalfields include impressive warehouse loft conversions, luxury high rise apartments and Georgian townhouses and blocks of council flats. Prices range from £400,000 for a 1 bedroom flat to upwards of £4m for a 4 bed period property.


Things To Do In Spitalfields

Spitalfields Market is located on Brushfield Street and is arguably the best place to go for everything from food, fashion, art, collectables, curios, music and entertainment in East London. As well as the famous Traders’ market, Spitalfields Market also has boutique designer shops, eateries and bars open every day – and night – for when you’ve had your fill of retail therapy. Spitalfields Market also regularly hosts events all year round, showcasing the rich cultural diversity of the area and London as a whole. Past events have included art exhibitions, tea dances, street food celebrations, salsa, pop up theatre and more.

Although Old Spitalfields Market is smaller than its sister market, don’t let that fool you. As the saying goes, size isn’t everything and Old Spitalfields proves that. Home to one of the best known arts, antiques and fashion market, Old Spitalfields champions upcoming talent in the creative industries with regular displays and art installations, as well as vintage fashions and antique pieces from independent traders. Like Spitalfields Market, Old Spitalfields is open seven days a week.

Michelin starred restaurant Galvin La Chappele is renowned for its stylish French cuisine and is equally popular as much for its architecture as its food. 2019 marks 10 years since Chris and Jeff Galvin opened Galvin La Chappele and their Bistro Galvin HOP on Spital Square with an ethos to use only locally sourced seasonal ingredients and to showcase them in their unique fresh vibrant style. This promise remains true to this day.

For a true authentic East End experience head to Poppies Fish & Chip shop on Hanbury Street. The flagship store of Pat ‘Pop’ Newland’s empire, it truly is a trip down memory lane, with retro memorabilia from floor to ceiling and traditional East End delights such as Jellied Eels and newspaper wrapped fish and chips on the menu alongside more modern, contemporary offerings.

Pop started his career in 1952 at the tender age of 11 working at a fish and chip shop on the Roman Road cutting up newspapers to wrap fish and chips in. Today Pop owns three outlets - with his own fishmonger - and has stayed true to his East End Roots.

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History of Spitalfields

Spitalfields is named after the St Mary Spittel hospital and priory that was located there. Known throughout the years for its strong sense of community, it is thought that this stems from the infectious closeness and solidarity that the Spitalfield Market traders demonstrated when they started to meet on the field next to the Priory in the 13th century. The market attracted visitors, traders and residents from a range of different cultures and communities, all adding to the melting pot of its identity.

Spitalfield remained a primarily rural location until the Great Fire of London pushed market traders further afield, to the location where it stands today thanks to John Balch being granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II to hold a market near Spital Square on a Tuesday Thursday and Saturday.

The market became the focal point of Spitalfields and thanks to its continued success it acted as a magnet attracting many settlers to the area. By 1685 news of the market, its reputation, lack of Guild scrutiny and the cheaper cost of food and living had spread and following the retraction of the Edict of Nantes in what was at the time Catholic France, some 40,000 – 50,000 Protestant Huguenots fled and upon arrival in England, a large number headed for Spitalfields. The Huguenots were talented silkworkers and weavers and their arrival hugely increased the profile of the area and what it had to offer leading it to become known as “weaver town”.

The Huguenot’s other great impact on Spitalfields was through the formation of their Protestant churches. Within five years of their arrival, nine churches were founded in the area and although their loyalty to both their language and their religion and culture set them apart from the Spitalfields community and was initially met with derision, their quiet industriousness, strong work ethic and church welfare outreach proved popular and, after some initial hostility, the Huguenot’s were eventually welcomed.

News of Weaver Town’s success had also spread to Ireland and, following the decline of the Irish linen industry, Irish workers wanted to cash in on London’s success. Many of whom would subsequently go on to work on building London’s docks. Spitalfields’ benevolence also reached the Jewish community in Eastern Europe who came to escape persecution from the Russians and Poland. Pockets of both Irish and Jewish settlements remain here, and up until the mid 1970’s Spitalfields had one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe with nearly 40 synagogues. One of which, on Brick Lane, was previously one of the Huguenot’s churches – and is now a mosque!

Today, the residents and businesses in Spitalfields are as diverse as they ever were, and the community make sure that that diversity is celebrated. And nowhere more so than in and around the markets that started it all.

Poppies Fish & Chip shop - London
Poppies Fish & Chip shop - London

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