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18 June 2014
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Immigration and Emigration
Crowds in Spitalfields
© Brick Lane Festival, 2003. Kois Miah
The world in a city

London has always been a diverse city and a magnet for migrants. Ever since Roman times, when Italians and Greeks came to the city from other parts of the Empire, people have flocked to London hoping for a better life. From Africans to Irish, from Chinese to Asians, the list of those who have made London their home is endless.

Spitalfields, in the East End, encapsulates perfectly London's diversity. At times called 'Petty France' and 'Little Jerusalem', the area now officially known as 'Spitalfields' and 'Banglatown' has provided refuge throughout history to those fleeing persecution. The streets reveal many overlapping histories. The building at the corner of Brick Lane and Fournier Street is a fitting symbol of Spitalfields colourful past, now a mosque, it has previously been a Huguenot Church, Methodist chapel and Jewish synagogue.

Take a closer look at a few of the communities that have made Spitalfields their home. More...

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Your comments

1 rob from Iowa - 12 October 2003
"it's really really weird to think about this one place being home to so many people - hey if they'd have come here there'd have been enough to room to house all of them in their own towns!!!"

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Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

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