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Colonial Histories: London’s forgotten Chinatown Walking Tour - Saturday 7 November 2020 3 pm

Colonial Histories: London’s forgotten Chinatown Walking Tour - Saturday 7 November 2020 3 pm


Join Open House for a socially-distanced walking tour delving in London’s colonial history and exploring the city’s old Chinatown in Limehouse

Led by up-and-coming writer and film maker Siufan Adey, this historically insightful walking tour will trace the lost architecture and community of east London’s Chinatown which was gradually displaced as a result of 1930s slum clearances and council-led housing developments during the 1960s.

Located in the centre of London’s docklands — once the largest trading port in the world — Limehouse was the focal point for a large and thriving immigrant population with many Chinese and Eurasian migrants settling in the area from the 1860s onwards; creating a physical legacy of shops, lodging-houses, and community centres.

By 1890 there were two distinct, if very small, Chinese communities living in the East End’s dockside neighbourhoods and the area became major focal point for anti-immigrant press campaigns during the interwar period. The area’s Chinese community later relocated to Soho in the 1960s, creating the area now widely known as London’s Chinatown.

The tour will explore interactions between dominant host and immigrant communities and recounting the experiences of immigrants who were displaced following the decline of London’s ports. It will also reflect on subsequent regeneration projects that shaped and formed the Docklands area today and uncover the surviving elements of this extraordinary history.

Providing a safe and fun way for enthusiastic urbanists to explore the city in our post-pandemic era, this walking tour will explore the colonial histories of the capital and is part of a new series of events responding to Open House 2020’s core themes.

Meet: Westferry DLR Station. End point: TBC. Duration: 2 hours approx.

Cost £12.50 / £9.50 concessions (students/unemployed/furloughed etc, enter code WALKINGTOUR for concession price at the shop page check out)

Attendees must download Zoom for the live audio broadcast, bring a fully charged smart phone with internet connection, and headphones; and remember to stay at least two metres apart from each other where required. Zoom joining info will be sent out to bookers the week before the tour. Get in touch with Adrianna at with any queries.


Siufan Adey is a content producer at architecture and design magazine Dezeen. She holds a degree in Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies from The Bartlett UCL, where she produced architecture-infused films with the aim of empowering marginalised voices. While completing her studies, Siufan became a founding member of New Architecture Writers and received mentorship from the Architecture Foundation and Architectural Review magazine. She joined the Open House Tours team in September 2020.

Please note: Due to the continually changing situation tours may have to be rescheduled at late notice. In the event your tour date in cancelled, you will be able to book onto another tour or held in credit (with not expiry date). 

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