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Mile End
Mile end green bridge 1.jpg
The Green Bridge carries Mile End Park over the A11 Mile End Road
Mile End is located in Greater London
Mile End
Mile End
OS grid reference TQ365825
• Charing Cross 3.6 mi (5.8 km) WSW
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district E1, E3 and E14
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Bethnal Green and Bow
  • Poplar and Limehouse
London Assembly
List of places
51°31′29″N 0°01′53″W / 51.5248°N 0.0314°W / 51.5248; -0.0314

Mile End is a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the East End of London, England, 3.6 miles (5.8 km) east-northeast of Charing Cross. Situated on the London-to-Colchester road, it was one of the earliest suburbs of London. It became part of the metropolitan area in 1855, and is connected to the London Underground.

It was also known as Mile End Old Town; the name provides a geographical distinction from the unconnected former hamlet called Mile End New Town. In 2011, Mile End had a population of 28,544.



Mile End is recorded in 1288 as La Mile ende. It is formed from the Middle English 'mile' and 'ende' and means 'the hamlet a mile away'. The mile distance was in relation to Aldgate in the City of London, reached by the London to Colchester road. In around 1691 Mile End became known as Mile End Old Town because a new unconnected settlement to the west and adjacent to Spitalfields had taken the name Mile End New Town. This data combines the ethnicity data for Mile End's two wards (Mile End And Globe Town and Mile End East).

Mile End Compared 2011 White British Asian Black
Mile End Population 28,544 29.3% 44.8% 8.5%
London Borough of Tower Hamlets 31.2% 41.2% 7.3%


Whilst there are many references to settlements in the area, excavations have suggested there were very few buildings before 1300.

Mile End Road is an ancient route from London to the East, and was moved to its present-day alignment after the foundation of Bow Bridge in 1110. In the medieval period it was known as ‘Aldgatestrete’, as it led to the eastern entrance to the City of London at Aldgate. The area running alongside Mile End Road was known as Mile End Green, and became known as a place of assembly for Londoners, reflected in the name of Assembly Passage. For most of the medieval period, this road was surrounded by open fields on either side, but speculative developments existed by the end of the 16th century and continued throughout the 18th century.

The Stepney Green Conservation Area was designated in January 1973, covering the area previously known as Mile End Old Town. It is a large Conservation Area with an irregular shape that encloses buildings around Mile End Road, Assembly Passage, Louisa Street and Stepney Green itself. It is an area of exceptional architectural and historic interest, with a character and appearance worthy of protection and enhancement. It is situated just north of the medieval village of Stepney, which was clustered around St. Dunstan’s Church.

Peasants' Revolt

In 1381, an uprising against the tax collectors of Brentwood quickly spread first to the surrounding villages, then throughout the South-East of England, but it was the rebels of Essex, led by a priest named Jack Straw, and the men of Kent, led by Wat Tyler, who marched on London. On 12 June, the Essex rebels, comprising 100,000 men, camped at Mile End and on the following day the men of Kent arrived at Blackheath. On 14 June, the young king Richard II rode to Mile End where he met the rebels and signed their charter. The king subsequently had the leaders and many rebels executed.

Birth of London's Yiddish theatre

In 1883, Jacob P. Adler arrived in London with a troupe of refugee professional actors. He enlisted the help of local amateurs, and the Russian Jewish Operatic Company made their debut at the Beaumont Hall, close to Stepney Green tube station. Within two years they were able to establish their own theatre in Brick Lane.

People's Palace

Novelist and social commentator Walter Besant proposed a Palace of Delight with concert halls, reading rooms, picture galleries, an art school and various classes, social rooms and frequent fêtes and dances. This coincided with a project by the philanthropist businessman Edmund Hay Currie to use the money from the winding up of the Beaumont Trust, together with subscriptions, to build a People's Palace in the East End. Five acres of land were secured on the Mile End Road, and the Queen's Hall was opened by Queen Victoria on 14 May 1887. The complex was completed with a library, swimming pool, gymnasium and winter garden by 1892, providing an eclectic mix of populist entertainment and education. A peak of 8,000 tickets were sold for classes in 1892, and by 1900, a Bachelor of Science degree awarded by the University of London was introduced. In 1931, the building was destroyed by fire, but the Draper's Company, major donors to the original scheme, invested more to rebuild the technical college and create Queen Mary College in December 1934. A new People's Palace was constructed, in 1937, by the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney, in St Helen's Terrace. This finally closed in 1954.

Second World War

Mile end grove road 2
V-1 plaque on Grove Road railway bridge (January 2006)

Besides suffering heavily in earlier blitzes, Mile End was hit by the first V-1 flying bomb to strike London. On 13 June 1944, this 'doodlebug' impacted next to the railway bridge on Grove Road, an event now commemorated by a plaque. Eight civilians were killed, 30 injured and 200 made homeless by the blast. The area remained derelict for many years, until cleared to extend Mile End park. Before demolition in 1993, local artist Rachel Whiteread made a cast of the inside of 193 Grove Road. Despite attracting controversy, the exhibit won her the Turner Prize for 1993.

In May 2007 during building work, a live World War II bomb weighing 200 kg was found north of Mile End station near Grove and Roman Roads. Approximately 100 local residents were evacuated and stayed with friends and family or the Mile End Leisure Centre until the bomb could be deactivated and removed.


Mile End is in a part of London known as the East End and home to the main campus of Queen Mary, University of London. Parts of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry are also based on this campus. The main student halls of residence are also now located on this campus.

The area also boasts an unusual landmark, the "Green Bridge" (known affectionately as the banana bridge, due to its yellow underside). This structure (designed by CZWG Architects, and opened in 2000) allows Mile End Park to cross over the Mile End Road and makes an interesting contrast with the more usual approach of building bridges for cars. It contains garden and water features and some shops and restaurant space built in below.

The Ragged School Museum, opened in 1990 in three canal side former warehouses in Copperfield Road, facing the western edge of the park, south of Mile End Road. The buildings previously housed Dr Barnado's Cooperfield Road Ragged School.

Mile End as a parliamentary constituency had a reputation as a Labour Party stronghold, but also sent Communist Member of Parliament (MP) Phil Piratin to the House of Commons between 1945 and 1950. At that time, it had a large Jewish population. The area now is covered by the Bethnal Green and Bow and Poplar and Limehouse constituencies.

Sport and leisure

Mile End has a Non-League football club, Sporting Bengal United F.C., which plays at Mile End Stadium. The Mile End Skate Park provides a protected recreational space for skate sports. There are many green spaces in Mile End, including the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, one of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries.



Mile End tube station is on the London Underground Central, District and Hammersmith & City lines, all of which connect Mile End directly to the East End, City of London and Central London. The Central line also links the area directly to Stratford and Essex in the east and London's West End.

Bow Road tube station on the District and Hammersmith & City lines is also nearby.

Both stations are in London fare zone 2.


There are bus stops on Mile End Road, Burdett Road and Grove Road.

London Bus routes 25, 205, 277, 309, 323, 339, 425, D6, D7 and night buses N25, N205 and N277 stop in the area.

Buses link Mile End directly to destinations across London, including Canary Wharf, the City of London, King's Cross, Paddington and Stratford.


The A11 (Mile End Road) passes east–west through Mile End, linking the locale to Aldgate in the west and Stratford in the east. At Stratford, the road meets the A12 where eastbound traffic can continue towards Ilford, the M11 (for Stansted Airport) and destinations in Essex.

The A1205 (Grove Road/Burdett Road) carries traffic northbound towards Victoria Park and Hackney. The road terminates to the south at the A13 near Limehouse and Canary Wharf.

Air pollution

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets monitors roadside air quality in Mile End. In 2017, average Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels in the locale failed to meet the UK National Air Quality Objective of 40μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre).

An automatic monitoring site in Mile End recorded a 2017 annual average of 48μg/m3. Alternative monitoring sites on Mile End Road also failed to meet air quality objectives. A site at the junction with Globe Road in nearby Stepney recorded 52μg/m3 as a 2017 average, whilst a site at the junction with Harford Street recorded 41μg/m3.

Exposure to higher concentrations of NO2 has been linked to lung disease and respiratory problems.


Mile End is on London-wide, national and international cycle networks. Public cycling infrastructure in the locale is provided by both Transport for London (TfL) and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Routes include:

  • National Cycle Route 1 (NCR 1) – a long-distance leisure cycle route between Dover, Kent and the Shetland Islands, Scotland and forms part of the National Cycle Network. The route passes through Mile End Park on traffic-free shared use paths. In North London, the route runs from Canary Wharf to Enfield Lock.
  • Cycle Superhighway 2 (CS2) – a commuter cycling route from Aldgate in the City to Stratford in the east. The route runs signposted, unbroken and traffic-free on cycle track for the majority of the route. The route follows the A11 (Mile End Road) through Mile End, and the track is coloured blue. It was upgraded between Bow and Aldgate and was completed in April 2016, with separated cycle tracks replacing cycle lanes along the majority of the route.
  • Cycleway between Hackney and the Isle of Dogs – a proposed commuter cycle route made in 2019. According to current proposals, the southern portion of the route will run unbroken, signposted and traffic-free on cycle track between Mile End and Canary Wharf.
  • EuroVelo 2 ("The Capitals Route") – EuroVelo 2 is an international leisure cycle route between Moscow, Russia and Galway, Ireland. Through Mile End, it follows the route of NCR 1.
  • Regent's Canal towpath – a shared use path from Limehouse to Angel. The route is unbroken and traffic-free for its entire length, and can be accessed at Mile End through Mile End Park. The route links Mile End directly to Hackney and Dalston en route.

Notable people

  • Mabel Lucie Attwell (1879–1964), the British illustrator for children's books (married to painter and illustrator Harold Cecil Earnshaw), was born in Mile End.
  • Rokhsana Fiaz, the Labour Mayor of Newham since 2018, was born in Mile End hospital.
  • Jason Tindall, the former professional footballer and current assistant manager at AFC Bournemouth, is from Mile End.
  • Craig Fairbrass, actor in EastEnders and London Heist.
  • Charles Pope,(1883-1917) Recipient of the Victoria cross in June of 1917 was born in Mile End.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Mile End para niños

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