Whitechapel is mainly famous for being where Jack the Ripper carried out his murders in Victorian England.

Jack the Ripper killed six women within a period of three months in 1888 then suddenly stopped. He was never caught. Whitechapel lies along the route of one of the main roads from the London to Essex. Being close to the city, many tradesmen moved out to Whitechapel as the city became more congested in Tudor times.

Whitechapel High Street contained a large number of coaching inns. When Commercial Road was put through in the 19th century, that brought more trade from the docks. It became the centre for the second-hand clothing trade run by Jewish immigrants from Russia and Poland. The Irish were generally concentrated round what is now Royal Mint Street. Bangladeshi immigrants have moved into the area in recent years.

Terraces of Victorian houses are to be found in Sidney Square and Ford Square. There have also been new homes built in Raven Row and Varden Street. New blocks of flats have been constructed in the south of Whitechapel in Plumbers Row and nearby streets. On the other side of Whitechapel there have been conversions of a church, a school, and a brewery into flats. A large development of flats was recently created in the “Aldgate triangle” between Whitechapel Road, Commercial Road and New Road, and another large development known as Skyline Plaza was built nearby in Commercial Road.