Home Projects & activities Tower Hamlets Bengali Heritage Trail

Tower Hamlets Bengali Heritage Trail

Tower Hamlets Bengali Heritage Trail

Workshop   credit: © Daniele Lamarche The Bengali Heritage Trail around Tower Hamlets will unlock the history of Britain’s first Bengali settlers, seamen known as Lascars, and will connect key landmarks such as the docks and buildings associated with the seamen who served on British naval and merchant ships from the 17th century onwards. The trail will be described in a booklet made available and online and at a special exhibition and seminar.

The research project will explore the history of the Lascars who were recruited in India to work for the East India Company. The trail will take in the sites of East India House and Calcutta House, East India Dock in Blackwall, and Seaman’s Lodgings. It will also include buildings resulting from the settlement of the Bengali Community, including the Brick Lane Mosque and the Kobi Nazrul Centre; and memorials such as the Altab Ali Arch and the Shahid Minar monument.

The project will offer unique opportunity for young people to research, document and celebrate Bengali history and heritage by producing the heritage trail. The young people involved with this project will learn about their community’s heritage, acquire skills in research, photography, uploading website, publication and furthermore will pass on this knowledge to other young people.

The project will work in consultation with Tower Hamlets Local History Library, London Metropolitan University and the Bishopsgate Institute.

The project started in November 2008 and will be completed in August 2010.


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