History | By: N Quentin Woolf

Londonist Out Loud: Rookeries Of London

Welcome to the latest episode of Londonist Out Loud, a podcast about London.

Historian and author Sarah Wise is the guest on this week's podcast, which was recorded within arm's length of a pile of (full) coffins in the vaults of St Leonard's, Shoreditch.

We're talking about 19th century rookeries — better known as slums — including St Giles close to Oxford Street, and Westminster's Devil's Acre. Where were they, and why were improvements suddenly made to living conditions in these rookeries in the latter part of the 19th century?

We also discuss why being a vagrant was preferable to being in the workhouse.

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter @londonistsound and @londonist or in the comments.

Download MP3

Londonist Out Loud is presented and produced by N Quentin Woolf.