The Market is at the heart of Tower Hamlets, next to the Royal London Hospital and the Town Hall. Felix Naylor Marlow © Social Streets CIC.
Out & aboutPlaces to visit

The beauty of Whitechapel Market [photo essay]

We explored Whitechapel Market on a busy Saturday morning and found bursts of colour and pulsating energy in the heart of Tower Hamlets.

If you ask someone where the centre of Whitechapel is, they will probably say Whitechapel Market. The huge range of characters who visit and things for sale means the market pulses with energy and pops with colour.

We set out to capture the essence of the Market on a Saturday morning when the Market throngs with people shopping, eating, or just passing through.

If you want to understand Whitechapel, you need to explore the mile-long market, from Cambridge Heath Road to Vallance Road. You will find all sorts, from fresh fruit and veg and fish to jewellery and fabrics.

The Market has a long history. It was formally established over 200 years ago. Its history makes it an integral and authentic part of the area. So much so that it has been designated as an official Conservation Area. 

In January, the government’s Department of Levelling Up awarded Tower Hamlet’s Council £9 million to regenerate the market. The Council will use the money to ‘improve the look and feel of the market’ and to make it more accessible to pedestrians. 

A stall in Whitechapel Market with Tower Hamlets Town Hall and the Royal London Hospital behind.
The Market is at the heart of Tower Hamlets, next to the Royal London Hospital and the Town Hall.
A fruit and veg stall in Whitechapel Market.
The market pops with colour on a bright Saturday morning.
A stall selling earrings with a bus passing by in Whitechapel Market.
Many stalls sell traditional jewellery.
A vendor adjust fabrics at a stall in Whitechapel Market.
A vendor adjusts their fabrics.
A phone booth and a shopping trolley in Whitechapel Market.
Vegetables for sale in Whitechapel Market.
The colours of the veg on sale caught our eye.
A street sign leans against the back of a stall in Whitechapel market.
A street sign points to nowhere.
A woman browses at a fruit and veg stall in Whitechapel Market.
In the background of this classic scene in the Market, you can see the historic buildings which line the street. Some are over 100 years old.
A fish stall in Whitechapel Market.
There are several fishmongers in the Market.
Tools at a fish stall in Whitechapel Market.
And here you can see the fishmonger’s tools for preparing their fresh fish.
A woman buying fruit from a stall in Whitechapel market.
The stalls are almost all still cash only. Haggling is certainly encouraged.
The back of a clothes stall in Whitechapel Market.
We loved the textures of the back of this stall.

If you enjoyed this photo essay, you might enjoy our article exploring the history of the Roman Road Market.

Please support local journalism.

As a social enterprise using constructive journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or subscription fee as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.

We are a tiny team of four covering Whitechapel and Tower Hamlets, relying entirely on member donations.Hundreds of members have already joined. Become a member to donate as little as £3 per month to support constructive journalism and the local community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.