Built in about 1876 in the old churchyard of St George in the East, this building started life as a mortuary. Probably the most well-known person to rest in the mortuary at St George in the East was one of the suspected victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper. Elizabeth Stride was the first of two women to be brutally murdered in the same evening at the end of September 1888. Elizabeth was found with her throat cut around an hour before a second victim, Catherine Eddowes, was found nearby, with her throat also cut and her body mutilated. Elizabeth Stride’s body was taken to the mortuary at St George in the East, where a post-mortem took place, and she was buried in a humble grave in the City of London cemetery on 6th October 1888.
The mortuary at St George in the East closed in about 1900, as by that time technology had advanced enough for bodies to be refrigerated to delay decomposition. The building reopened as the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney Nature Study Museum in about 1904. The museum closed its doors following the outbreak of the Second World War. In April 1941, devastating fires caused by a landmine gutted the church of St George in the East and many of the surrounding buildings. The museum escaped the flames, but it was never to reopen.
Photographed July 2016.