Tower Hamlets is a London borough located to the East of London and north of River Thames. It borders the borough of Hackney to its north and Newham to its east. The Newham district, on the other hand, borders River Lea to the east. Bordering River Thames to the southwest is the London Borough of Southwark and Lewisham to the South. Greenwich is the last borough and is on the west side of River Thames. Precisely, these districts form the London historical Middlesex, with those initially bordering River Lea in Essex.
To the entrance of the ancient West Indian Docks and the most extensive current meander of River Thames, is the Isle of Dogs that forms the southern part of the borough and creates a part of the historic floodplain of River Thames. In the 17th century (1946), a Constable of the Tower of London is said to have been the first to use the name “Tower Hamlets” when he was giving orders to the Tower Hamlet Militia as their Lord Lieutenant.
In the late 19th century, the borough was formed to cater for the overpopulation of the East End. It connects the north of River Thames and the east of the ancient walled City of London. It is then that the St Katharine Docks and the central London railway termini begun. The district’s difficulties were exacerbated, with many of the displaced people migrating to the area. This lead to the clearance of the former slums and rookeries. The Tower Hamlets borough then became synonymous with overcrowding, diseases, immorality, and poverty.
But by the 19th century, the borough began to develop rapidly. What initially was an area characterized by clustered villages began to thrive. The district flourished with repair and construction-related industries. The former overcrowdedness along the roads, farmlands was no more, and the shipping business grew from the Tudor times. Tower Hamlets began developing from the immigrants that came via the River Thames. These included the French Huguenots who established silk weaving businesses in Spitalfields in 1685, the Irish labourers in 1800 and the Jews from central Europe who founded the clothing and footwear businesses along the Middlesex Street and on the Commercial Street.
As the home to the famous Brick Lane’s curry houses, the fashion shops, the hip art gallery, the East London Mosque at Whitechapel, the financial district near the Canary dock, the market in Spitalfields, and the ever-developing Docklands area, it continues to develop with modern developments and towers.
The Elizabeth line which will run through Tower Hamlets is 73 miles long. It splits into two at each end, and the east section joins back together at Whitechapel, whilst also service Canary Wharf.