Shoreditch

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Coordinates: 51°31′34″N 0°04′41″W / 51.526°N 0.078°W / 51.526; -0.078

Shoreditch is an area of London within the London Borough of Hackney. It is a built-up part of the inner city immediately to the north of the City of London, located 2.5 miles (4.0 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross.

Contents

History

Etymology

The etymology of 'Shoreditch' is debated. A legendary early tradition connects it with Jane Shore, the mistress of Edward IV who according to an ancient ballad died in the eponymous ditch....However as the place is attested as 'Soersditch', long before this, a more plausible suggestion is 'Sewer Ditch', in reference to an ancient drain or watercourse in what was a boggy area adjacent to the 'fens' of Finsbury/Fensbury to the west (Mander 1996). Possibly it refers to the headwaters of the river Walbrook which rose in the Curtain Road area.

The legendary associations of Jane Shore with the area are commemorated by a very large painting of that lady being retrieved from the ditch at Haggerston Branch Library and by a design on glazed tiles in a shop in Shoreditch High Street, showing Edward IV meeting her at the goldsmith's establishment her husband kept. This shop was formerly 'The Jane Shore' tavern (Clunn 1970: 312, 493).

Administration

The medieval parish of Shoreditch (St Leonard's), was originally part of the county of Middlesex until 1889 when it became part of the new County of London. The parish vestry was the local unit of administration until the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch in 1899 in the same area. Shoreditch town hall can still be seen on Old Street. It has been restored and is now run by the Shoreditch Town Hall Trust. The Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch was made up of three main districts in all: Shoreditch, Hoxton and Haggerston. The whole Metropolitan Borough was incorporated into the much larger London Borough of Hackney in 1965.

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