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Footsteps to the past open heritage links

PUBLISHED: 20:23 03 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 October 2010

HERITAGE trails have been launched this week to help open up London's East End to more tourism. Officials from Heritage of London Trust chose the perfect historic setting for today's launch with Tower Hamlets Council—the ancient Tower of London

HERITAGE trails have been launched this week to help open up London’s East End to more tourism.

Officials from Heritage of London Trust chose the perfect historic setting for today’s launch with Tower Hamlets Council—the ancient Tower of London.

A booklet helps curious tourists tread in the footsteps of past monarchs, immigrants and dockworkers with a list of 13 walks covering nine different areas.

The trails have been drawn up to raise awareness of the heritage of Tower Hamlets and the East End, where many of the buildings, monuments and statues have received cash from the Heritage Trust to help restore and maintain them.

The trust’s director Dianna Beattie said: “Tower Hamlets is unique—it’s the most interesting, but under-appreciated area in the country.

“Fabulous trade from the East India Company and the rest of the world passed through the London Docks near The Tower, bringing wealth, commodities and ideas which transformed the whole country.”

The walks shed light on the history of the People’s Palace in Mile End, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, the Balfron Tower by the Blackwall Tunnel in Poplar, Wilton’s Music Hall at St Katherine’s-by-the-Tower and Nicholas Hawksmoor’s magnificent 18th century churches at Spitalfields and Limehouse.

Tourists can take a peak inside some of the historic buildings not usually open to the public the weekend after next, September 13 and 14, with the help of the new booklet which is available from the Town Hall, public libraries, from Heritage of London Trust at 38 Ebury Street, SW1W OLU, or online at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk

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