27th September - Talk: The Forgotten Weavers' Housing of the Spitalfields Silk District


Peter Guillery: The Forgotten Weavers' Housing of the Spitalfields Silk District

Together with the Huguenots of Spitalfields, SPAB London is hosting this fascinating talk by Peter Guillery.

Peter Guillery is a senior historian and editor at the Survey of London, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is currently leading a project to document the history of Whitechapel's buildings for an interactive website (see https://surveyoflondon.org) and the 54th volume in the Survey of London series. His publications include a guidebook to St George's German Lutheran Church, The Small House in Eighteenth-Century London, Built from Below: British architecture and the vernacular and Mobilising Housing Histories: learning from London's past.

The houses of Georgian Spitalfields might seem well known. However, alongside the silk-merchants' houses that currently line the streets, there were also tenements and cottages for the weavers of Spitalfields' vital silk industry. Few of these humble dwellings survive. In this talk, Peter Guillery reconstructs the character of this forgotten Georgian Spitalfields, examining remaining fragments alongside archival evidence.

The St George's German Lutheran Church is owned and managed by the Historic Chapels Trust. St George's is the oldest surviving German Church in the British Isles, opened in 1762.

Today only the church and its former school adjacent are left to remind us of this huge refugee population in an area once called 'Little Germany'. The history of this part of London is one of successive waves of immigration: Huguenots, German speakers, Jews, Bangladeshis. Today the German episode in this story is far less known even though Aldgate and Whitechapel was home to the largest German speaking population outside the German lands for over a century.

The Church will open at 6pm for the talk to begin at 6.30pm.

 To book Peter Guillery's talk please follow this link https://spitalfieldsweavershousing.eventbrite.co.uk

Journeymen 2