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Georgian House Newsletter!
Visit this cultural area of shops and restaurants for the ultimate asian experience!
What are the Origins of China Town?
Chinatown's origins can be traced back to the Great Fire of London in 1666, at least the development of the area we now know as China Town. An area map of 1585 shows there were no buildings in the area then known as St. Martin's Field, a name still retained in several streets of the area, as well as the parish church off Trafalgar Square. The lack of buildings is not a great surprise, as the construction of any buildings within a three-mile radius of the City of London was prohibited by royal decree.
Chinese Arriving in Britain
The first Chinese to settle in Britain arrived in the late 18th century. They were exclusively male, and employees of the East India Company. They settled in the dock areas of Liverpool and Limehouse in London. Although the success of the British in the Opium Wars lead to an increased degree of contact between Britain and China, the Chinese population in Britain remained very, very small. At the turn of the 20th Century there were just 545 Chinese in Britain, almost exclusively male. They ran small shops and cafes, catering for the extremely transient Chinese population of seamen.
Settling in Britain
By 1914 there were some 30 Chinese businesses in the Limehouse area of London, which had become known as China Town. The British were far from welcoming.
Conditions, however, were not easy. Working 17 hours a day was not uncommon and this lead to no opportunity to learn English. Accommodation conditions were often overcrowded and basic. With the influx of Chinese, and the substantial business success of the catering trade, associated businesses designed to cater for restaurant workers, grew up on Gerrard Street, which became known as China Town. More families were reunited as wives were and children joined their husbands.
Modern China Town
The relative educational success of British Born Chinese brought further economic success, and the Chinese by and large moved out of China Town, making room for more commercial space, and went to the suburbs. Westminster City Council, recognising that it had become a major tourist attraction transformed China Town itself. Gerrard Street was pedestrianised, as was part of Newport Place and Macclesfield Street. Chinese Gates, street furniture and a Pavilion were added as China Town came of age, a symbol of the success as well as a cultural focal point of the Chinese community of London.
For more information visit www.chinatown-online.co.uk
B&B Accommodation near China Town
China Town is located just 10-15min bus ride or 5-10min taxi ride away form Georgian House Hotel. The hotel will offer you excellent facilities for a reasonable price, delicious English breakfast and ideal location not only for China Town, but for a variety of other tourist attractions.
Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you plan your trip to China Town? You can book online or email to make a reservation on firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438