The quiet East London street with a mysterious big red house that’s stayed exactly the same for 300 years

Over the centuries, Spitalfields has changed dramatically.

It was once classed as being on the “the edge of London”, surrounded by fields and standing next to the hospital and priory, St Mary’s Spittel – hence its name.

It wasn’t until the early 18th century when Joseph Truman Senior teamed up with William Bucknall to help run his brewery, Black Eagle Brewery (now Truman Brewery), which is one of Brick Lane’s most iconic landmarks today.

READ MORE: ‘It’s being euthanised before its time’: East Londoners outraged over controversial Brick Lane development plans

The house has been used for filming Luther and The Invisible Woman

Back then, London’s expanding population needed somewhere to live, so two London lawyers, Charles Wood and Simon Michell began building townhouses on Fournier Street (formerly Church Street) and Wilkes Street (formerly Wood Street).

Although they mainly housed poorer Londoners and migrants fleeing religious persecution and other atrocities, these historic townhouses are now some of the most desirable and sought-after properties within the E1 postcode – one is currently advertised on Rightmove for a hair-raising six million.

When thinking of Spitalfields and Brick Lane, many associate it with the proud, cultural heritage from the Bengali, Bangladeshi and Jewish communities that live there today.

It was cheerio for hipster hotspot, Cereal Killer Cafe in 2020

It was cheerio for hipster hotspot, Cereal Killer Cafe in 2020

But, the multicultural diversity that makes this part of East London so famous could soon displaced because of Tower Hamlets Council’s controversial plans to develop some parts of Truman Brewery and build a five-story office and shopping mall on top of a car park.

In recent years, nearby Shoreditch and Hoxton have turned into hipster-central with pop-up retail shops beneath Boxpark and infamous The Cereal Killer Cafe, which closed down in 2020.

There’s even an incredible eight ‘hipster things to do’ In Shoreditch for those with more edgy tastes.

Despite the dramatic transformation Spitalfields has experienced, Princelet Street is probably one of the quietest roads that exists in the area.

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In the year of 2019, many of the properties on Princelet Street went for well over a million, but it’s no surprise as they’ve kept their period features while enduring a modern makeover – and again it’s E1.

One house that hasn’t fallen victim to the million pound prices however, is Number 4 Princelet Street – a shoddy, but beautiful big red Georgian house.

It was most likely painted red due to the French Huguenot’s traditional weavers being of red or pink. The Huguenot’s fled from religious persecution in France since the 1680s, settling in Brick Lane and surrounding areas.

This house, with its iconic red shutters and distressed exterior, was reportedly built in 1723, making it almost 300 years old.

Spitalfields Market stalls

Spitalfields Market stalls

That means it miraculously survived the bombing of World War Two, which destroyed countless streets and livelihoods across London.

Today, the 15 rooms inside the property are hired out for events, photoshoots and filming locations such as BBC’s Luther and Ralph Fiennes’, The Invisible Woman.

While Spitalfields was once a part of London that experienced high levels of crime and poverty, it is now, like most parts of the city, an expensive place to live.

But, the big red house on Princelet Street remains as an everlasting reminder of the many different lives lived in the area over hundreds of years.

Got an important story we should be covering? Contact Ruby at [email protected]

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