Street, previously known as Princes Street, in London's East End, was originally
only some 300 feet
long and extended west-east from Wilkes
Street to Brick Lane, running
parallel to the eastern end of Hanbury Street (to the north) and
Fournier Street (to the
south). The continuation of Princes Street for some 500 feet beyond
Brick Lane was originally known as Booth Street and this is now also
Fashion Street (some 600 feet long),
where the predecessor congregation met, is about 500 feet to the south of Princelet
Street, and extends west-east from Commercial Street to Brick Lane,
parallel to Fournier Street (to the north).
synagogue building is on the northern side of Princelet Street, about
half way between Wilkes
Street and Brick Lane. The building was erected in 1719 and was
previously a Huguenot master silk weaver's home.
Next door, at 17 Princelet Street, was the birthplace of Miriam Moses,
JP, OBE (1886-1965) who, in 1931, became the first Jewish women mayor in
the UK and the first women mayor of Stepney. On the other side of the
street, at number 6 (previously number 3), was a Yiddish theatre.
Street is now the home of the Museum of Immigration (http://www.19princeletstreet.org.uk/about.html),
although in a very bad state of repair. There are still many signs of
the old Jewish presence, in particularly in the rear of the building,
although it is only infrequently opened to visitors.
The top floor of 19
Princelet Street was the location of the lodgings of the reclusive
Jewish scholar David Rodinsky, who disappeared in the late 1960s and
whose room was discovered undisturbed 20 years late. A non-fiction book,
"Rodinsky's Room" by Rachel Lichtenstein and Iain
Sinclair, is an oral history of Spitalfields and the East End in which
the authors attempt to discover what became of Rodinsky.
Princelet Street is in
the London Borough of Tower Hamlets,
created on 1 April 1965, within the administrative area of Greater London.
Princelet/Princes Street was in the Metropolitan Borough of
Stepney (established 1900) in the County of London
(established 1889), both of which entities were abolished in 1965.
Street was also
within the civil parish of Spitalfields (which was in the former County of Middlesex until 1889)
and which, from 1856 to
1900, was a constituent of the Whitechapel District.
The civil parish of Spitalfields was abolished in 1921, being absorbed
into the civil parish of Whitechapel, which itself was abolished in 1927
to be absorbed into Stepney Borough parish (until that parish's
abolition in 1965).