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The Changing Urban Geography of the Inner East End and the City of London.

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Introduction

The Changing Urban Geography of the Inner East End and the City of London Tower Hamlets have been inhabited for 2000 years, with a detailed history going back to the Roman invasion of 43AD. The world famous Tower of London stands on the River Thames on the western boundary of the borough. It dates from the reign of William the Conqueror in the 11th century and in the past 900 years it has been used as a fortress, royal palace, zoo and state prison. Much of borough was marshland at this time. As London expanded and the pressure for development intensified, the land was gradually drained and reclaimed. A cluster of small communities was established, known locally as the hamlets around the tower - which is the origin of the borough's name. The area's population spread south from Spitalfields and Whitechapel as works to prevent flooding of the Thames allowed many new houses and wharves to be built at Blackwall, Poplar, Shadwell and Wapping. These areas grew as centres of shipbuilding and repair. Lime kilns to make mortar for the building industry were established, giving their name to Limehouse. The construction of Bow Bridge over the River Lee in Henry 1's reign improved access to the tide mills on the east bank. It wasn't until the 16th century that the area really began to thrive. ...read more.

Middle

The fresh Docklands and Riverside developments are slowly changing the area away from being just a working-class area. For the last 400 years the residents in this area have generally been craftsmen, labourers and those who worked for the richer city dwellers. The Tower Hamlets became an extremely important industrial area, in the unloading, storing and processing of goods coming into London. However the working conditions in these areas have traditionally been very appalling. The major industry during the Second World War in this area was the docks, but the Tower Hamlets were extremely badly damaged during the Blitz. This had a disastrous effect on the docks, and this saw the decline of them. The London City Council produced a post-war rebuilding scheme, even after a huge amount of people had migrated out of the area. This resulted in the area becoming more residential than industrial. The area in the borough contained post-war Edwardian and Victorian terraces, and at this time it was not very aesthetically pleasing, and did not attract a great deal of visitors to the area. The Tower of London however, is a huge place in Britain's history dating back to 1067, and holds the Crown Jewels. The Tower Bridge is continually refurbished for the reason that it attracts a huge number of tourists the whole year round. ...read more.

Conclusion

It has had a lot of refurbishment since the 12th century and is the wealthiest local authority in Britain. It receives �6 million per annum from Natwest Bank from tax. It has responsibility for numerous things such as many open spaces around London (e.g. Burnham Beeches), for hygiene in markets, control of London University and controls part of London and Heathrow. These reasons show how this area of London is so significant and important. A very important wealthy area is the area of Guild Hall. The 'Big Bang' attracted many foreign companies, which brought more wealth into the London economy. Over $450 billion a day pass through London in the foreign exchange which is obviously a huge amount of money, showing London is a very important city of the world. This proves the fact that London is the world's second largest economic city, and earns $1.8 trillion in stocks shares. One of the reasons for this is because London is in the centre of the world's time zones, so it open when other leading cities are open, such as New York and Tokyo, which is very advantageous. As well as that, London is the centre of the car manufacturing, which is the world largest manufacturing industry. The stocks and shares began in the Mansion Square, and the Bank of England is also located here. The London Mayor's Office is also situated here. We appreciate how much the land use and people in London have changed over time, and the reasons for this actually occurring. ...read more.

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