JACK THE RIPPER'S LONDON TODAY
At first glance it might appear that little, if anything, of Jack the Ripper’s London has survived.
Whereas this is most certainly true with regard the actual murder sites, all of which have now been obliterated, there are still sections of the East End that have changed little since 1888.
THE MARY NICHOLS MURDER SITE
Buck’s Row, where Mary Nichols died on 31st August 1888 disappeared, in name at least, shortly after her death. The local residents became ashamed of their sudden notoriety, and successfully petitioned the council to change its name to Durward Street.
A small, litter-strewn, car par now stands on the murder site itself. One building, however, has survived in the immediate vicinity.
The looming bulk of the Board School that towers over the street, just as it did in 1888, although today it has been converted to flats.
THE LONDON HOSPITAL
A short distance away, the London Hospital still stands on Whitechapel High Street.
It was here that Emma Smith, the first Whitechapel Murders victim died, and here worked Dr. Openshaw, whose opinion was sought in connection with the piece of kidney that George Lusk had received, along with his letter "From Hell".
THE WHITE HART PUB - WHERE A SUSPECT WORKED
Closer to the City of London, on Whitechapel High Street, the White Hart Pub, in the cellar of which suspect George Chapman worked as barber in 1890, still dispenses frothing tankards of ale to thirsty ripper enthusiasts.
GUNTHORPE STREET - MARTHA TABRAM MURDER SITE
Adjoining it is the sinister arch through which Martha Tabram took her soldier client in the early hours of the 8th August 1888.
It leads into the cobble-stoned Gunthorpe Street, where her body was discovered, and which at night, can be just as sinister and threatening as it was in 1888.
THE FORMER FRYING PAN PUB
Round the corner on Brick Lane the Sheraz Curry Restaurant now occupies the building that was the Frying Pan Pub. Here Mary Nichols drank away her doss money on the night of her murder. Close scrutiny of its upper storeys reveals that two crossed frying pans still adorn its upper gable, along with its original name "Ye Frying Pan".
SITE OF 29 HANBURY STREET
A rather ugly brewery building stands on the site of number 29 Hanbury Street, in the back yard of which the body of Annie Chapman was found at 6am on September 8th 1888.
The opposite section of Hanbury Street, the south side, has survived more or less intact, so it is possible at least to gain an impression of what the north side would have looked like when the murder occurred.
THE TEN BELLS PUB
Nearby, on the busy Commercial Street, the Ten Bells pub, linked with the final hours of both Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly, is still doing a roaring trade, albeit it has made a concerted effort to distance itself from its Ripper related past.
Opposite it stands one of the neighbourhoods most poignant buildings, the soaring white tower of Christchurch Spitalfields. It dominates its surroundings today, just as it did in 1888, a towering and breathtaking edifice up at which Jack the Ripper’s victims would have glanced on an almost daily basis.
SITE OF THE BERNER STREET MURDER
Of Berner Street, where Elizabeth Stride was killed on 30th September, nothing has survived. The site itself is now occupied by a school playground. Now children play on the spot where one of the 19th century's most gruesome murders occurred.
MITRE SQUARE - CATHERINE EDDOWES MURDER SITE
Likewise Mitre Square, where Catherine Eddowes became his next victim on that same morning has seen its old warehouse buildings replaced by a school and nondescript office buildings.
THE DOORWAY WHERE THE CLUE WAS LEFT
One building though does survive from the night of the double murder. Less than ten minutes walk away Wentworth Model Dwellings still loom over Goulston Street, and the doorway where the bloodstained piece of Catherine’s apron was found, is now the take-away counter of the Happy Days Fish and Chip Shop.
THE SITE OF MARY KELLY'S MURDER
Back on Commercial Street and across the road from Christchurch, a car park now occupies the site of Dorset Street, where Mary Kelly was murdered on 9th November 1888.
A food warehouse now stands over the site of Miller’s Court, where her body was found.
THE FORMER PROVIDENCE ROW NIGHT SHELTER
However, the former Providence Row Night Shelter still looms over Dorset Street’s west end. It is the only building in the immediate vicinity that connects to that long ago night when a lone cry of "murder" spelt the end of Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. Today it provides student accommodation for the London School of Economics.