Stepney, England — Our Sister City
Tower Hamlets, located on the East Side of London, is the largest of London’s Boroughs. It takes its name from the Tower of London, which was originally in Stepney Parish. There are seventeen Hamlets/Wards in the East Side, which were incorporated to create The Tower Hamlets. One of which today is St. Dunstan’s Stepney Green.
The past ten years has seen the population of Tower Hamlets grow from around 161,000 to over 200,000. The Banking industry has discovered this sleepy area and is moving into the area with fervor, building modern skyscrapers for their headquarters. The Tower Hamlets is next to the “City”, (London’s Wall Street District), and has excellent access via bus, train and the London City Airport to support the expansion. Today many of the centuries old riverside pubs and new luxury flats have been created from the Dock Warehouses, inviting new money into the area. The Tower Hamlets area was once populated by colorful characters from Dick Turpin to Captain Cook and the part of London where Roman legions marched, Jack the Ripper stalked and which Queen Victoria lived.
A Trip Through Stepney Green
The first stop was in a residential area of row homes in Stepney, typical of the housing in the area. Then on to the Parish Church of St. Dunstan, Stepney (Church of England). Located on the east end of the Stepney Green on seven acres, stands the oldest church in London and the known as home Parish to millions of people across the world.
Over a thousand years ago a small wooden church stood on this site. About the year 952 Dunstan, Bishop of London and hence Lord of the Manor of Stepney, replaced it with a stone church and dedicated it to “All the Saints”. It has been the parish church of Stepney ever since.