"Beside my Church at Limehouse there had anciently been a great Fen or Morass which had been a burying-place of Saxon times, with Graves lined with chalk-stones and beneath them earlier Tombs."

- Hawksmoor (novel, 1985)

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Oh, Limehouse kids

Oh, Limehouse kids

Goin' the way 

That the rest of them did

Poor and broken blossom

And nobody's child

Carefree and happy 

You're just sort of wild

- Limehouse Blues (lyrics, 1921)

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"All sorts of Conditions of Men", continuing eastward through the thronged market streets to Limehouse Church, and what is London's China Town.

- Cook's Omnibus Tours (travel brochure, 1911)

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Here was a powerful force for evil, with seductive charms that some of us can scarcely estimate the force of... 

- Barnardo of Stepney (book, 1953)

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"And as they looked at the site of the plague fields, they saw only the images on the advertising hoardings which surround them..."

- Hawksmoor (novel, 1985)

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 Thence he moved to another house whose stairs ran straight to the street, and above whose doorway a lamp glowed like an evil eye. 

- Limehouse Nights

(novel, 1916)

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Dim and mysterious is London's Chinatown - and in Limehouse Causeway one gets the tang of betel-nut, of bhang, and of - opium. 

- Cosmopolitan London (film, 1924)

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[The pyramid]  strengthens the Axis Mundi, the vertical line that goes through skyscrapers and connects Heaven with Earth.'

- César Pelli (interview, 2016)


 But the city was enthralled with the fearsome Limehouse Golem. Who was he? Who would be his next victim? 

- Limehouse Golem

(film, 2016)

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The forecourt of St Anne, and of the other churches, is the area set aside for sacrifice and ceremonies of fire; first ritual of purification.

- Lud Heat (fiction, 1975)

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Despite having a reputation for vice, degeneracy and foreignness, Otherness lacks presence in the built fabric of Limehouse. In contrast, the Limehouse within fictional narratives openly expresses difference through tectonic strangeness and contraventions of accepted uses of space. Fictional accounts include descriptions of opium dens in the former ‘Chinatown’ and occult myths surrounding Hawksmoor’s St Anne’s.


Although Otherness is often negatively exploited to marginalise minority groups, this project argues that Otherness can equally be productive, if expressed properly. It learns from fictional space, and advocates for a reintroduction of Otherness into a neighbourhood that is undergoing rapid homogenisation.