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Publication Detail
The Built Fabric of the East End - exploring the socio-spatial configuration of nineteenth century religious sites and spaces
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Vaughan L, Sailer K, Dino B
  • Publication date:
  • Published proceedings:
  • Editors:
    Madgin B,Doyle R
  • Name of conference:
    Urban History Group 2016: Re-Evaluating the Place of the City in History
  • Conference place:
    Robinson College, University of Cambridge
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
This paper uses a combination of Goad Fire Insurance Plans, newspapers and other primary sources to study a poorly documented, but critical aspect of 19th century Jewish life in London's East End, namely the dozens of small synagogue that offered religious and social support for newly arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe. The Goad plans, along with the Russell and Lewis map of Jewish East London provide information on the spatial characteristics of the streets, alleys, courtyards and buildings that contained Jewish life. Against this background, the paper will compare and contrast the building/street relationships between the different synagogue types, analysing their spatial connections to the public sphere in order to address the way in which the Jewish inhabitants of the district shaped their social-cultural relationships with their surroundings. Focusing on an area of Whitechapel that was subject to significant slum clearance in the preceding years, detailed spatial analysis of the way in which building interiors and public space exteriors interrelate sheds light on the way in which religious activity intersected with public life.
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