Altab Ali Park

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Entrance to the park
Replica of the Shaheed Minar monument
Gravestones

Altab Ali Park is a small park on Adler Street, White Church Lane and Whitechapel High Street, London E1;[1] formerly known as St. Mary's Park it is the site of the old 14th Century white chapel, St. Mary Matfelon, from which the area of Whitechapel gets its name.[2] Having been destroyed in The Blitz in 1940,[3] all that remains of the old church is the floor plan and a few graves. Included in those buried on the site are Richard Parker, Richard Brandon and Sir John Cass.[4] This graveyard is the final resting place of 'Sir' Jeffrey Dunstan, Mayor of Garratt (died 1796 - see Hone's Everyday Book 1827, p. 859).

The park was renamed Altab Ali Park in 1998[5] in memory of Altab Ali, a 25-year-old Bangladeshi clothing worker, who was murdered on 4 May 1978 in Adler Street by three teenage boys as he walked home from work.[6] At the entrance to the park is an arch created by David Peterson, developed as a memorial to Altab Ali and other victims of racist attacks. The arch incorporates a complex Bengali-style pattern, meant to show the merging of different cultures in East London.[7] [8]

Along the path down the centre of the park are letters spelling out "The shade of my tree is offered to those who come and go fleetingly"; a fragment of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore.

The Shaheed Minar, which commemorates the Bengali Language Movement stands in the southwest corner of Altab Ali Park; the monument is a smaller replica of the one in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and symbolises a mother and the martyred sons.[9]

The nearest London Underground station is Aldgate East on the District and Hammersmith & City lines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parks in Tower Hamlets
  2. ^ Exploring East London: Whitechapel[dead link]
  3. ^ "St Mary Matfellon Whitechapel". Middlesex-heraldry.org.uk. 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  4. ^ http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=2164022
  5. ^ "Aldgate". London-footprints.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Brick Lane Tour". Worldwrite.org.uk. 1978-05-04. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Altab Ali Arch". Whitechapel's Free Art and History. Archived from the original on 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  8. ^ http://www.runnymedetrust.org/histories/race-equality/71/altab-ali-murdered-in-whitechapel-london.html
  9. ^ "Shaheed Minar". Banglapedia. Retrieved 2009-11-01. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′58″N 0°04′07″W / 51.5162°N 0.0685°W / 51.5162; -0.0685