• Whitechapel RoadE1
  • Mile End RoadE3
  • Bow RoadE3
To the City
To the Olympic Park
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179-181 Whitechapel Road

The Davenant Centre

Significant Building

  • Completed: 1818/1896
  • Grade II Listed [1242406, 1065209, 1357510]
  • Built by: F Poulter Telfer
  • Historic period: Regency: 1811-1836
  • This is a significant building
  • Current Use: Education

The Davenant school was a charitable school formed in 1860 originally formed at the request of Reverend Ralph Davenant to school 40 poor boys of Whitechapel. Further funds were raised to educate 34 poor girls. A site for the proposed school was found in the Whitechapel Road on the Lower Burial Ground. The site is still occupied by the old school buildings and can be clearly seen when passing along the Whitechapel Road today. In 1813 a dramatic change took place when Davenant earned itself the title of 'Cradle of the National Schools of England'.

The Charity School continued to function in the original buildings which were eventually enlarged in 1818 to accommodate 100 boys and 100 girls. The school by now maintained two institutions educating 1,200 children. Today, the building continues to be used for educating local young people.