This is a narrow passage in Spitalfields that’s the legacy of slum clearances in Victorian times. Built around the back of a triangular plot of land it was created in the 1840s-60s as the main Commerical Street was created to improve transport, and clear away slums.

Until this time, there had been a French Charity school on the site, but it was demolished to make way for the road, although oddly, this corner site now vacant was to remain empty until the 1870s when it was filled with small buildings, but later in the early 20th century most of the site was taken over by a large Tobacco factory.

The old Royal Cambridge Music Hall was just to the north of the site.

It survived WW2 relatively undamaged, and following post-war decline the site was converted into flats and offices in the 1990s.

Although the corner is now occupied by the offices of a large clothes retailer, the rear of the site is that curious mix of old industrial and wasteland spaces that manages to cling on in this part of town. If you look carefully, you might spot some old stone setts (cobbles) under the tarmac in a couple of places.

Of course, being this part of town it’s also packed full of street art — or graffiti if you prefer. One of the more famous items of street art is the 3D face mask, by the Italian artist, UrbanSolid.

Originally two separate streets, Corbet Place and Corbet Court, they were merged in the 1960s into the single named passage we have today.


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