Brick Lane just north of Old Montague Street

Location 5

Up to the 1960’s Old Montague Street had a series of three storey early 19th Century cottages which were home to many small Jewish shops and businesses. These were demolished to make way for a comprehensive redevelopment of innovative modern small-scale housing around courtyards. An earlier remnant at the east end of the street is an Art Deco style block of flats from 1936 by architect Edward Tanner. A fine Victorian public house stands on the corner with Brick Lane.

The now much altered Great Garden Synagogue on Greatorex Street to the east also illustrates some of this former history. A ‘model’ synagogue, it was built in 1896 for the Federation of Synagogues by architect Lewis Solomon and extended in the 1960s; it closed in the 1990s and has been converted to offices. Another former synagogue, now flats, with decorative ground floor frontage can be seen in Heneage Street. West on Wentworth Street the remains of Victorian tenements can be seen in the form of a handsome red brick arch reused in a new housing development and further west at Commercial Street another fine public house.

Fashion Street (16), a corruption of its original 17th Century name Fossan Street,  lies to the west of Brick Lane and contains the former ‘Moorish Market’ designed and built in 1905 by entrepreneurs Abraham and Woolf Davis as a retail arcade in an unusual oriental style, with horseshoe arches. It was a commercial failure and changed to industrial use in 1909. Having lain disused for many years it was skilfully restored in 2003 for business use. On the other side of Fashion Street lies a late 19th Century range of distinctive red brick shops with stepped gables which survive largely unaltered. Further west over Commercial Street, Whites Row contains 19th Century warehouses and a fine 18th Century house. Commercial Street also has many fine Victorian warehouses.

Christ Church School (15) on Brick Lane was built in 1873 in the Victorian gothic style with a steep pitched roof. The successor to a charity school founded in 1708, it has projecting wings as houses for the school master and the mistress. It is one of the few non-commercial buildings on this busy stretch of Brick Lane.

Brick Lane and the streets around are now all protected by Conservation Area status.