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New walking tour app brings East End history to life

As BBC 1’s Ripper Street keeps audiences hooked and paid tours sell out across the city, Queen Mary University of London has brought some 300 years of colourful East End history to life through a free smartphone tour app.

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The Ten Bells pub - TV chef Jamie Oliver's great great grandfather was a landlord in the 1880s
The Ten Bells pub - TV chef Jamie Oliver's great great grandfather was a landlord in the 1880s

Starting at Liverpool Street Station and finishing in Stepney Green, the app allows you to explore historic east London at your own place, accompanied by the expertise of Queen Mary academics.

TV historian Amanda Vickery, geographer Alastair Owens, Jewish culture expert Nadia Valman and Parvati Nair, Director of the Centre for Migration Studies, are among the experts to lend their research, knowledge and voice to the free audio guide.

A narrator guides visitors from stop to stop, while oral history recordings and illustrative readings add colour to academic insight. A route map and directions can also be downloaded and printed out to accompany the audio experience. 

Originally released in 2012 in time for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the tour is now available to download to phones and MP3 players as an app, created by Tales & Tours for Queen Mary.

Taking around an hour to complete, the walk’s highlights include:

  • Artillery Passage - once the boundary between the wealthy City and East End poverty
  • Petticoat Lane Market - the commercial hub of the Jewish East End
  • The Jewish Soup Kitchen - built to offer basic help to refugees fleeing persecution in Russia
  • Christ Church, Spitalfields - Nicholas Hawksmoor’s architectural gem
  • Spitalfields - the architectural legacy of French Huguenot silk weavers
  • Brick Lane Mosque - a building that embodies the waves of immigration to the East End
  • Fulbourne Street – where Jack the Ripper murdered one of his victims in 1888 and where Lenin and Trotsky met fellow Russian radicals
  • Speakers’ Corner of the East End (Mile End Waste) - where Salvation Army founder and social reformer William Booth campaigned to end poverty

Visit to download the app.

Visit to download directions and a map.

For media information, contact:

Rupert Marquand
Media Relations Manager
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