Anyone who wanted to go to Hackney, a large village outside London, from Houndsditch in 1710 had a variety of routes to choose from. You could go up north, through the spreading suburbs of Shoreditch and take the road called ‘The Road to Hackney’ that ran through fields until you came to the south edge of the village.


If you fancied a change, you could go east along Aldgate and Whitechapel Street into the countryside until you reached the village of Mile End Old Town. There you could turn left at Captain Fisher’s Ale House onto Dog Row, through the orchards to the little village of Bethnal Green, and straight through to Hackney. This road was one of the roads to the important university city of Cambridge, and to the east coast seaports, so there would always be a fair amount of traffic coming and going.