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Jack the Ripper walk (part four)
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Continue into St James’s Passage which leads into Mitre Square ❻. Walk directly ahead to the far left corner of the Square and stop at the iron gates on the left. Notice the original cobblestones.

Square: Murder Site of Catherine Eddows
Less than twenty minutes after Catherine was last seen, PC Watkins walked into the Square from Mitre Street, which is just ahead. He shone his lantern into this dark corner of the Square and could just make out a pool of blood and a woman’s body sprawled out of the cobblestones next to a wooden gate. Even in the darkness he could see that she had been cut to pieces and terribly mutilated. He blew his whistle and, within minutes, a crowd of people had arrived to witness the body of the Ripper’s fourth victim.

Jack the Ripper walk (part four)

How could a woman Mitre be murdered without anyone hearing her screams? At the post-mortem, it was found that Catherine had an eight-inch slash across her throat, which had cut her vocal chords. The other more gruesome and terrifying mutilations had been done after her death.

Mitre Square was originally founded in 1108 by Matilda of Scotland, the wife of Henry I. The Square marked the site of the cloisters of the Priory of the Holy Trinity. A ghostly figure of a woman has often been seen by people taking a short cut home late at night. The ghost is seen lying on the cobblestones next to the gate, the exact spot where Catherine’s body was found.

Exit Mitre Square into Mitre Street. Turn left and walk to the end of Mitre Street. Turn left along Fenchurch Street heading back to the Church of St Boltoph ❷. Continue a little further back to Aldgate Underground Station ❶. Cross the road at traffic lights, which are outside the Underground Station. Turn left after you have crossed the road and immediately on the right enter Little Somerset Street, which is in fact a small enclosed alley. A little further on the left you will come to the Still and Star Pub ❼.

Still and Star Pub: There are probably only two pubs in England with this unusual name. This Pub and its immediate surroundings were thought to have been linked to Jack the Ripper because, surrounding this Pub during 1880s, were dozens of slaughter houses. One theory was that Jack the Ripper was a butcher and that he would have worked in this area and probably drank here. The Pub remains the same as it did during the Ripper’s days, but the rest of the area has changed a great deal, so that even Jack the Ripper would not recognize it today.

Return the way you have just come, through Little Somerset Street to Aldgate High Street. Turn right. A little further along on the right, on the corner of Mansell Street is the Hoop and Grapes Pub ❽.

Hoop and Grapes Pub: This is the oldest surviving pub in London and would have been in business in the time of the Ripper. The building was originally a private house, built in the early 1600s and is well worth a look inside. The Hoop and Grapes Pub was one of the few buildings to have survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, in which over 80% of houses were burnt to the ground. Look at the wooden carvings at the entrance as you enter and the wooden overhanging upper gallery. Notice how narrow the Pub is inside.

Like many of the inns from this period there are large cellars and underground passages. The secret passages underneath this Pub are said to be linked to the Tower of London and the River Thames; many river pirates and smugglers were known to have worked on this part of the river.

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