Brick Lane was originally
a road running through London's brickfields. The street
lies to the north of City in an area that has long provided
refuge for people who did not want to come under the jurisdiction
of the City or were not welcome there.
Brick Lane, with
some houses dating from the 18th century, has an influx of
many different nationalities and today it is the busy centre
of London's Bengali district. The first Bengalis to
live here were sailors who moved in during the 19th century
when the area was a Jewish quarter.
As well as shops
selling Bengali food, spices, silks and sarees, a few Jewish
shops have survived, including 'Beigel Bake', selling bagels
24 hours a day.
Notable former residents
include Lionel Bart, the composer of 'Oliver', who lived above
the shop on the corner of Brick Lane and Princelet Street,
and the playwright Arnold Wesker, was brought up in Fashion
Street, just off Brick Lane.
The large, sprawling
Sunday market fills Brick Lane and the surrounding streets.
A real East End experience, the market sells a wide
variety of goods including fresh produce, meat, provisions,
pet foods, household goods, tools, electrical goods, discount
books and bicycles.
There are also stalls
offering second hand goods.
Brick Lane itself
offers leather jackets, cheap jewellery, sports shoes and
jeans. A jellied eel stall and many curry restaurants
provide refreshments. This popular market compliments
Petticoat Lane, a bustling clothes market, a few street to