123-125 Whitechapel Road

early 18th century origins as two shophouses, refronted in 1906 and 1974, upper storeys converted to flats in 2002-3

123 and 125 Whitechapel Road
Contributed by Survey of London on Aug. 7, 2017

This is the earliest building in this stretch of Whitechapel Road with early eighteenth-century origins. No. 123, three bays wide, fronted a tallow factory. Allen Parsons, a tallow chandler, was here by 1740, followed by another Allen Parsons and William Parsons, brothers and hay salesmen as well as tallow chandlers, then from 1808 into the 1870s by Henry Mitchell & Son, tallow chandlers or melters. The same business, including candle making, continued in other hands into the 1890s. In 1906 the whole front (123–125) was rebuilt to the design of J. R. Moore-Smith, architect, with A. Webb as builder. J. Freed & Son raised the back workshop in 1925. The façade was flattened and rendered in 1974, and the interior comprehensively altered in 2002–3 in a conversion for Ram Gopal of Alpine Fashions Ltd by Reflex Design Consultants Ltd (John A. Smith) of Upminster, to form six flats above shops. Twin-newel staircases were removed.[^1[]

  1. Land Tax returns: Tower Hamlets Commissioners of Sewers ratebooks: District Surveyors Returns: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive, Building Control files 15937; 19158: London County Council Minutes, 13 Nov 1894, p.1154: Post Office Directories