The claw of Christ Church protrudes gnomon-like at the centre of this exquisite new map of Spitalfields. Around the Hawksmoor steeple run some of London’s most charismatic thoroughfares: Fournier Street with its famous mosque and shabby-chic housing; Petticoat Lane with its giant Eine letters and long cancelled name that refuses to die; Hanbury Street with a towering crane of the feathered variety, a painted landmark by street artist Roa.
But the people of Spitalfields are every bit as remarkable as the roads they inhabit. Telling their stories is the mission of Spitalfields Life, the exceptional blog that, in its two years of existence, has interviewed hundreds of characters – everyone from the area’s milkman of 30 years to local celebrities such as Dan Cruickshank and Gilbert and George. 40 of these Spitalfields lives are drawn onto the map, fusing people and places to create a winsome guide to the area and its characters, each of whom is introduced on the chart’s flipside.
The A2 map was draughted by Adam Dant, the creative force behind many wonderful local maps. To complete a supergroup of London explorers, it’s produced by Herb Lester, who’ve graced these pages many times before with their growing portfolio of quirky guides to the capital.
The Map of Spitalfields Life, Showing the People, Culture and Industry of This Historic Place is available for £4 from Herb Lester Associates and selected retailers. Buy here.