Above: Map of old Metropolitan London. The boundary lines show all original Metropolitan Boroughs. Those being considered in this academic year are coloured GREEN. Stoke Newington, Hackney and Shoreditch make up today’s London Borough of Hackney. Bethnal Green and Stepney are part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Bermondsey is part of the London Borough of Southwark.
During the remaining months of this academic year, we shall be looking at places of interest related to the old Metropolitan Boroughs that now make up three of today’s London Boroughs. We shall consider the whole of today’s London Borough of Hackney – made up from the Metropolitan Boroughs of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington. We shall move to today’s London Borough of Tower Hamlets – originally the Metropolitan Boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green and Poplar. Poplar will be held over for another year and so we shall look at Stepney and Bethnal Green.
Across the Thames from Stepney was the old Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey which is now part of the London Borough of Southwark – formed from the Metropolitan Boroughs of Bermondsey, Camberwell and Southwark. Only Bermondsey will be looked at this year. By studying Stepney in the same year as Bermondsey, we can look at places on both sides of the Thames in the one year. It would be strange if you were studying a street and only looked at one side. In the same way, it would be unhelpful to only study one side of the Thames.
In total this is a large swathe of land, running from Stamford Hill in the north right down to the Thames and then crossing the Thames to Bermondsey, which also includes Rotherhithe. We shall start with the London Borough of Hackney and work southwards over a time period of several months.
Comment 14 – Metropolitan London
In this six-year series on the history of Inner London, we have spent the autumn term on areas in the City of London and the start of the spring term on a part of Westminster. This process is continued each academic year. Those two tasks being completed we now take a look at parts of Metropolitan London which came into existence in 1899 in the form of 28 Metropolitan Boroughs that surrounded the City of London. Those 28 Metropolitan Boroughs were brought together to form the 12 larger London Boroughs that are still in existence today.
Further information about how Inner London is made up can be found by searching for two other blogs called ‘London – Metropolitan Boroughs’ and ‘London – Boroughs’ and reading through them.