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The Map Of Industrious Shoreditch

May 5, 2018
by the gentle author

Each Saturday, we shall be featuring one of Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND from the forthcoming book of his extraordinary cartography to be published by Spitalfields Life Books & Batsford on June 7th.

Please support this ambitious venture by pre-ordering a copy, which will be signed by Adam Dant with an individual drawing on the flyleaf and sent to you on publication. CLICK TO ORDER A SIGNED COPY OF MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND BY ADAM DANT

Click to enlarge and study the details of Industrious Shoreditch

A century before the New Industries that define Shoreditch today, there were once the Old Industries. Then, small manufacturers and their suppliers occupied every building, and the neighbourhood teemed with skilled workers and craftsmen who made things with their hands. Cartographer extraordinaire Adam Dant celebrates this culture with his Map of Industrious Shoreditch, 1912.

“I chose 1912 because it precedes the First World War, when everything changed. It encapsulates Industrious Shoreditch,” explained Adam, “I started off with the major landmarks serving the industries of the time. For the main thoroughfares, I listed the concentrations of manufacturers, using lists of companies from the Post Office Directories. These are complemented by vignettes of people making things, and I filled the border with machines used for wood and metalwork.”

After the First World War, many of the industries moved to larger factories outside London and the twentieth century saw the decline of manufacturing in Shoreditch, with the hardware shops and suppliers of raw materials being the last to go, holding on even into recent decades. Now that Shoreditch is booming again with new technology companies occupying many of the old buildings once used for manufacturing, Adam Dant’s map offers us a poignant opportunity to explore that lost world of industriousness.

You will discover mattress makers, french polishers, feather dyers, hatters, bootmakers, chandlers, over-mantle manufacturers, cabinet makers, coach builders, wood turners, corset makers, and more…

Adam Dant goes in search of Industrious Shoreditch


Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND is a mighty monograph collecting together all your favourite works by Spitalfields Life‘s cartographer extraordinaire in a beautiful big hardback book.

Including a map of London riots, the locations of early coffee houses and a colourful depiction of slang through the centuries, Adam Dant’s vision of city life and our prevailing obsessions with money, power and the pursuit of pleasure may genuinely be described as ‘Hogarthian.’

Unparalleled in his draughtsmanship and inventiveness, Adam Dant explores the byways of English cultural history in his ingenious drawings, annotated with erudite commentary and offering hours of fascination for the curious.

The book includes an extensive interview with Adam Dant by The Gentle Author.

Adam Dant’s  limited edition prints are available to purchase through TAG Fine Arts

Readers are invited to visit the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy this weekend where some of Adam Dant’s prints are being displayed. Click here for two complimentary tickets.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Chris Webb permalink
    May 5, 2018

    You recently wrote about the girl whose parents ran the Primrose pub on the corner of Primrose St and Bishopsgate but on this map it’s called The Middleton Arms. I wonder when it changed its name. In the mid 80s I worked in Bishopsgate and we would go in there occasionally, although we’d go into the Paul Pindar mostly as they had pool tables upstairs. I remember to my shame we used to drink Carling Black Label, something I’d now find repulsive. Do they even still make it?

    If anybody is surprised to see a car factory in the middle of the City, in the early days of the car industry there were hundreds of small manufacturers, mostly now completely forgotten, assembling cars in tiny numbers from mostly off-the-shelf components they bought in. Seabrooks have a smaller premises round the corner from the factory – I suspect that was the entire company, one small factory plus an adjacent showroom.

  2. Annie S permalink
    May 8, 2018

    Just noticed something very intriguing, on the corner of Club Row and Old Nichol Street was a Cheltenham Ladies College Settlement which seems rather out of place in Shoreditch!
    Having done a search i found this

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