Join our Jack the Ripper walk as we explore the streets of London’s East End, getting to know some of the landmarks and locations that would have been as familiar to the Ripper as they are to Whitechapel’s residents today.
Jack the Ripper walks help you to experience the streets of Victorian London first-hand, learning about the history of the area as well as that all-important Ripper connection. From the sites of the horrific murders to the infamous Ten Bells pub, once even named after the Ripper, there are plenty of fascinating Ripper locations to visit.
So, join us as we take you on a journey through the streets of Whitechapel and the East End of London, exploring some of the locations that have become synonymous with the Ripper case over the years. You never know, you could be walking in the very footsteps of Jack the Ripper himself…
You may be forgiven for not being familiar with the name Emma Elizabeth Smith. Although she was not one of the Canonical Five Ripper victims, this unfortunate woman’s murder is considered the very first ‘Whitechapel Murder’; a series of murders committed in Whitechapel between 1888 and 1891. Emma Smith’s death was the first in a disturbing chain of events that caused wide-swept terror and panic across London.
Emma was viciously assaulted on the junction of Osborn Street and Brick Lane in the early hours of 3rd April 1888. Robbed, beaten and assaulted, she miraculously survived the attack and staggered home, where she was taken to the London Hospital. Although she was able to tell the doctor what had tragically happened to her, the injuries were so severe that she later slipped into a coma and passed away the following day.
Could Emma Elizabeth Smith have been Jack the Ripper’s first victim?
Another possible Jack the Ripper victim, Martha Tabram, was a local East End prostitute who was brutally murdered on 6th August 1888. In the evening of that fateful day, Martha had been out drinking and soliciting with a friend, known as ‘Pearly Poll’, before the pair met up with their clients for the night and split up.
Martha took her client to George Yard, a spot regularly frequented by those of her profession. Martha’s body was found in the early hours of the morning and police were quickly alerted. Although there are doubts about the murder being carried out by the Ripper’s hand, there is no doubt that Martha Tabram’s murder was the catalyst that began to focus police and press attention on the East End of London.
George Yard, today known as Gunthorpe Street, features a narrow cobbled lane that instantly draws parallels with Victorian Whitechapel. Stop by Gunthorpe Street and picture how it would have looked in 1888, with the cobbles lit by gaslight and dark shadows around every corner…
Frying Pan Pub
Mary Ann Nichols was the first of the Canonical Five Jack the Ripper victims, with her body being discovered in Buck’s Row on 31st August 1888. The Frying Pan pub was the scene of the last sighting of Mary Ann Nichols before she was murdered.
Today, the former Frying Pan pub is now an Indian restaurant on the corner of Brick Lane and Thrawl Street. If you look closely, you might even be able to spot the symbol of two crossed frying pans decorating the building’s brick gable.
Mary Ann Nichols’ body was discovered in the early hours of the morning on 31st August 1888 on Buck’s Row, lying in a gateway at the side of the street. Upon closer examination, it appeared that her throat had been deeply cut by her attacker in a manner which later led her to become known as the first of the Canonical Five victims.
The narrow, cobbled street was partly lined by tall, dark warehouse buildings at the time, a fact which would have made Buck’s Row gloomy and secluded – an ideal place for the murderer to strike.
The scene of the second Jack the Ripper murder, Hanbury Street, will forever remember the darkest period in its history. Annie Chapman’s body was found in the backyard of number 29, lying parallel to the fence with her head nearly touching the steps up into the house. Although the infamous street is now home to a brewery, there have been several reports of ghostly behaviour and unexplained happenings over the years…
In the early hours of 30th September 1888, Elizabeth Stride’s body was discovered in Dutfield’s Yard, off Berner Street. She had been seen mere hours beforehand on Berner Street with a mystery man – could this unidentified man have been the Ripper?
When her body was found, Elizabeth Stride’s throat had been cut but her body had escaped the mutilations that the Ripper’s previous victims had suffered. Was Jack interrupted, or was he already thinking about his next victim? Dutfield’s Yard was only the first stop on the Ripper’s murderous spree that night…
On a night that would forever go down in history, the unfortunate Catherine Eddowes met her end at the hands of Jack the Ripper. The deaths of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes that night became known as the ‘Double Event’, a night of terror that left the residents of the East End quaking in their beds. But in his lust for blood, could the Ripper have left a clue to his identity behind?
In a careless move so much out of character for the Ripper, who was always so sure to cover his tracks, one of the most significant clues of the entire case was found on Goulston Street after the horrifying Double Event.
Could this clue have helped solve the mystery of the Ripper’s identity? Perhaps with modern policing methods, this simple clue could have led detectives straight to Jack.
Central News Agency
Although this location is a little further out than many of the others in the Ripper’s usual stomping ground, it still had an important role to play in the case of the infamous Jack the Ripper.
In Victorian London, the Central News Agency was located on New Bridge Street and was a prominent news distribution service at the time. Its importance stems from the letters that were sent to the agency, written in blood red ink and telling horrific tales of the Ripper. One letter, the most famous, was the ‘From Hell’ letter. Not only did this letter grab the attention of the press, but it was also received with half a human kidney, reportedly belonging to Catherine Eddowes.
The most horrifying event of the entire Jack the Ripper case took place on 9th November 1888. Mary Jane Kelly, the Ripper’s final victim, was brutally murdered and mutilated in her room in a lodging house at 13 Millers Court. Even today, the original police photograph of the murder scene is still incredibly disturbing to witness, speaking volumes about the horrific scene which must have greeted those who discovered her body.
In Victorian London, Dorset Street was widely regarded as one of the worst areas in the capital’s slums. Millers Court was accessed by a narrow alleyway off Dorset Street. In a bid to escape the area’s negative history, the entire area was demolished and remodelled in the 1920s. Today, the former site of the murder is occupied by a car park and several warehouses.
Although perhaps not such a strong Ripper connection, Wilkes Street is unique as it has remained virtually untouched since the Victorian era. Step back in time and immerse yourself in Jack the Ripper’s East End with narrow, cobbled streets, gas lighting, and the constant fear of Jack the Ripper himself just waiting in the shadows or around the next corner…
Ten Bells Pub
The Ten Bells Pub has always been proud of its Jack the Ripper heritage – it was even called The Jack the Ripper for a short period of time! The pub was a popular watering hole in Victorian Spitalfields, and many of the Ripper’s unfortunate victims were regular visitors. In fact, some of the last sightings of his victims took place in this very pub. Could the Ripper have also frequented the Ten Bells?
Of course, these are just a few of the locations that you will visit on a Jack the Ripper walk through London’s East End. There’s no better way to introduce yourself to the Ripper’s favourite haunts!
Jack the Ripper walks are far more fun and enjoyable with an expert tour guide! Book your tour place now for just £15.