East London’s historical and industrial heartland.

Votes for Women

The Suffragette movement in London

Bryant & May’s

Match factory, Bow, London

Bow’s rich history encompasses centuries of invention and production; from its ancient porcelain and gin businesses to its gunpowder factory and silk and calico printing works, the area was a hive of industry and trade.

It was also home to some of history’s famous female pioneers, with the matchgirls’ strike at the Bryant & May factory in 1888 and Sylvia Pankhurst forming the East London Federation of the Suffragettes in the early 1900s.

Acclaimed designer, artist and poet William Morris lived near the River Lea and his works were greatly influenced by the surrounding waterways, including the Lea, which depicted the flowers growing wildly along the river.


One of Morris’ renowned designs

William Morris

Acclaimed designer, artist and poet

From a hive of manufacturing to a centre of culture and creativity.

Whilst the area’s waterways and traditional architecture tell of its bygone history of industry, Poplar’s canals are being brought back to life in the form of thriving, bohemian neighbourhoods.

Since the 20th Century, this part of East London has attracted artists, designers and artisans and this creative energy is alive now more than ever. Combining high art and innovation, nearby Hackney Wick is home to more artists than anywhere else in the world. Independent cafés, edgy bars and pop-up art galleries sit alongside exciting businesses and start-ups, with innovative media and technology complex Here East hosting a dynamic mix of companies and entrepreneurs.

The 2012 Olympic legacy has created a unique metropolitan neighbourhood and development is set to continue, with the £1.1 billion East Bank cultural and educational complex, providing a new home for BBC Music, the V&A and Sadler’s Wells, as well as top university campuses including UCL East and the London College of Fashion.

Computer generated images courtesy of LLDC, Allies & Morrison and Ninety90.