Exhibition: Feeding the Hamlets: Exploring the history of food production in the East End

This exhibition runs from Fri, 5th Aug 2022 to Sat, 4th Feb 2023. See all dates

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

15th Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)
16th Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)
17th Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)
18th Aug 2022  
(10am - 7pm)
19th Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)
22nd Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)
23rd Aug 2022  
(10am - 5pm)

Cost: Free of Charge

This exhibition uses the unique collections of Tower Hamlets Archives as a lens through which to explore the borough’s history of producing food.

For centuries, the East End’s landscape and social and economic history have been influenced by the growing, trading or manufacturing of food. Before 1800 farmland and market gardens characterised the area, but rapid industrialisation saw this pastoral tradition give way to the factories and warehouses producing food for mass consumption nationwide and globally. Close proximity to the docks ensured that food businesses based in the East End had ready access to a fresh supply of raw ingredients, within many supplies imported from countries colonised by Britain.

Photographs, deeds, plans, minutes, illustrations and maps are among the many unique items selected by staff. These sources illustrate fascinating and lesser-known tales from the history of food production in the East End – from flour milling and sugar refining to cow-keeping and vegetable growing.

The exhibition looks at the methods and sites where food production took place, as well as the people who were involved. A programme of free events is taking place to explore the exhibition’s themes in more detail. Sign up to our newsletter for all the details.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives,

277 Bancroft Road,
E1 4DQ

Map of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives