This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Huguenots of Spitalfields

Historic Spitalfields presents two walks and a talk that encapsulate the story of the courageous Huguenots, who left France under duress and settled in Spitalfields,  where they could practise their religion freely. The walk also explores other migrant groups who have made Spitalfields their home.


'Historic Spitalfields' Walk
11.00am and 2:00pm for a 90-minute walk
£10.00 - Book AM tickets online / Book PM tickets online

After King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685, the Huguenots were forbidden to leave France but thousands escaped to neighbouring European countries and even as far away as South Africa. Around 50,000 Huguenots came to England, bringing with them their ethos for hard work and their craft skills.

In Spitalfields, an already established weaving industry flourished under the new influx of Huguenots who were particularly talented in weaving silk patterns.

Many other immigrant groups have made Spitalfields their home, making their marks on the urban landscape and creating layers of fascinating history.

The walk, Historic Spitalfields, features many of these captivating layers, including the Brick Lane Mosque, which was once a synagogue, and a Huguenot chapel.

‘The Boss of Bethnal Green’ talk with Julian Woodford
6:00 – 7:30pm
FREE - Book online

Author Julian Woodford reveals all about 'The Boss of Bethnal Green' - Joseph Merceron, the corrupt Huguenot magistrate who ruled the East End for half a century from 1790 to 1840, lining his own pockets while creating the conditions that led to Victorian London's worst slums.

Julian conducted much of his research at THLHA, and his talk will include practical examples of how he used the archives to uncover Merceron's story.

Julian Woodford has lived in London since the early 1980s and combines a City career with a passion for London's history. 'The Boss of Bethnal Green' is his first book.


Book your tickets


Meet Point: outside Christ Church, Commercial Street, Spitalfields

Huguenots of Spitalfields

See more London History Day events

Graphic silhouette of Big Ben represented in green red and blue. Text reads: London History Day
Was this page helpful?