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Jack the Ripper walk (part nine)
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Walk down Fournier Street and turn first left into Wilkes Street. Continue to the end and stop on the right hand side corner where it meets Hanbury Street.

On the opposite side of the road, where the courtyard of the brewery is today, stood no. 29 Hanbury Street 23.

29 Hanbury Street: Murder Site of Annie Chapman.
Annie Chapman was brutally murdered by Jack the Ripper on the 8th September 1888 after, it is believed, meeting him in the Ten Bells Pub and then bringing him back to a room she had hired at 29 Hanbury Street.


Jack the Ripper walk (part nine)



Shortly before her murder, Annie was involved in a very violent fist fight in Dorset Street with a character named “Harry the Hawker”. She received bruises and a black eye; there is no record of Harry the Hawker’s injuries. Annie was seen before her murder drinking in the Ten Bells Pub and then seen leaving with a male client. A short while after this, she was seen again standing opposite her house on the corner, talking to a man. The man was described to the police as “wearing a black coat and a deerstalker hat and having a shabby appearance”. Annie was never seen alive again.

Next morning, John Davies, a neighbour, went down to the backyard through the passage. There he saw the body of Annie, lying close to the backyard steps. He thought she was either drunk or had been raped. Mr Davies is on police record as having said to the police: “I saw a female lying down, her clothing up to her knees and her face covered in blood.” He went on to say: “What was lying beside her I cannot describe – it was parts of her body”.

Turn right along Hanbury Street. Turn right into Brick Lane 24.

Brick Lane: Named after a brickworks near here in the 16th century. This area has always been home to immigrants from all over the world: firstly French Huguenots in the late 1600s; followed by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the middle 1800s; then, more recently, Bangladeshi people after the Second World War. Today, the street is rich in exotic food, spicy smells, colourful material and all types of shops, even wedding shops. Why not try a good, cheap curry or buy a colourful sari? The Indian sweets are recommended if you like sweet, rich, cakes. Do not be afraid to go inside the shops and look around.

Walk down Brick Lane. Every Sunday morning, between dawn and midday, Brick Lane is transformed into one of London’s most exciting and famous street markets. It is one of the last few traditional East End markets – full charm and characters. You will be able to buy anything here – clothes, leather goods, bicycles, furniture and second-hand bric-a-bric as well as fruit and vegetables. A good place to pick up a bargain or just enjoy the atmosphere. Continue to the end of Brick Lane where it leads into Osborn Street. Continue to the very end. Turn left into Whitechapel High Street, keeping to the left hand side.

Continue down Whitechapel High Street. Pass the East London Mosque on the right hand side of the road. Continue further, cross over Vallance Road, which is on your left, then turn into the second road on the left, which is Court Street. Then walk under the bridge. Turn right on the other side of the bridge and in front of is the Old School 25, which has now been converted into flats.

Facing the School, walk to the far left corner of the School and stop at the entrance to Durward Street. Notice how on the right side of Durward Street, the red brickwork of the Old School finishes and the new wall begins. This was once a large wooden gate. Mary Ann Nichols was murdered here at the entrance to this gate 26.

Durward Street: Murder Site of Mary Ann Nichols
Mary was officially the first victim of the Ripper. Mary was described as a drab 44-year old street prostitute; her street name was “Polly”. On 31st August 1888, the night of her murder, she was living in Thrawl Street ⓮ with three other prostitutes. After drinking heavily, she returned to her lodgings where she was refused entry because she did not have her “doss money” for the night (“doss” is slang for sleep).

One hour later, she was seen by a friend drunkenly walking along Whitechapel High Street. She boasted to her friend that she had made three times her doss money today, but had drank it. Her friend remembered that the bells of Christ Church of Spitalfields rang out at 2.30 am.

At 3.30 am, Charlie Cross was making his way to work as a market porter. He entered Durward Street and noticed what looked like a bundle of clothes in the gateway. He had a closer look and saw the body of Polly. She was lying partly on the road and partly on the pavement; her skirt had been pulled up. Minutes later, a policeman arrived, and, using his torch, they discovered a horrific scene. Polly’s throat had been cut from ear-to-ear in an attempt, it appeared, to cut off her head. She was still warm and blood was oozing from her wounds.

A doctor was called; he agreed that she was dead – not the most difficult diagnosis, as the poor woman had also been gutted and filleted like a fish. Polly was later identified by her ex-husband, who bent over her mutilated body and said: “I forgive you, as you are, for what you have done to me”.


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