Clerkenwell

Suburb, existing until now

 HOME  ·  ARTICLE  MAP  STREETS  BLOG  CONTACT 
34.201.121.213 
MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Suburb · Clerkenwell · EC1V ·
August
11
2012
Clerkenwell was once known as London's Little Italy because of the large number of Italians living in the area from the 1850s until the 1960s.

Clerkenwell Green and St James' Church
Credit: Nevilley
Clerkenwell took its name from the Clerks' Well in Farringdon Lane. In the Middle Ages, the London Parish clerks performed annual mystery plays there, based on biblical themes. Part of the well remains visible, incorporated into a 1980s building called Well Court.

In the 17th century South Clerkenwell became a fashionable place of residence. Oliver Cromwell owned a house on Clerkenwell Close, just off the Green. Several aristocrats had houses there, most notably the Duke of Northumberland, as did people such as Erasmus Smith.

Before Clerkenwell became a built-up area, it had a reputation as a resort a short walk out of the city, where Londoners could disport themselves at its spas, of which there were several, based on natural chalybeate springs, tea gardens and theatres. The present day Sadler's Wells has survived as heir to this tradition.

Clerkenwell was also the location of three prisons: the Clerkenwell Bridewell, Coldbath Fields Prison (later Clerkenwell Gaol) and the New Prison, later the Clerkenwell House of Detention, notorious as the scene of the Clerkenwell Outrage in 1867, an attempted prison break by Fenians who killed many in the tenement houses on Corporation Row in trying to blow a hole in the prison wall.

The Industrial Revolution changed the area greatly. It became a centre for breweries, distilleries and the printing industry. It gained a special reputation for the making of clocks and watches, which activity once employed many people from around the area. Flourishing craft workshops still carry on some of the traditional trades, such as jewellery-making. Clerkenwell is home to Witherby's, Europe's oldest printing company.

After the Second World War, Clerkenwell suffered from industrial decline and many of the premises occupied by the engineering, printing publishing and meat and food trades (the last mostly around Smithfield) fell empty. Several acclaimed council housing estates were commissioned by Finsbury Borough Council. Modernist architect and Russian émigré Berthold Lubetkin's listed Spa Green Estate, constructed 1943–1950, has recently been restored. The Finsbury Estate, constructed in 1968 to the designs of Joseph Emberton includes flats, since altered and re-clad.

A general revival and gentrification process began in the 1980s, and the area is now known for loft-living in some of the former industrial buildings. It also has young professionals, nightclubs and restaurants and is home to many professional offices as an overspill for the nearby City of London and West End.

Amongst other sectors, there is a notable concentration of design professions around Clerkenwell, and supporting industries such as high-end designer furniture showrooms.

THE STREETS OF CLERKENWELL
Back Hill, EC1R Back Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Backhill, EC1R Backhill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Bakers Row, EC1R Bakers Row is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Bakers Yard, EC1R Bakers Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Bowlin, EC1R Bowlin is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Bowling Green Lane, EC1R Bowling Green Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Brewery Square, EC1V Brewery Square is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Brewhouse Yard, EC1V Brewhouse Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Catherine Griffiths Court, EC1R Catherine Griffiths Court is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Clerkenwell Close, EC1R Clerkenwell Close is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1N Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1R Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Coldbath Square, EC1R Coldbath Square is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Corporation Row, EC1R Corporation Row is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Crawford Passage, EC1R Crawford Passage is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Eyre St Hill, EC1R Eyre St Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Eyre Street Hill, EC1R Eyre Street Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Farringdon Lane, EC1R Farringdon Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Finsbury Estate, EC1R Finsbury Estate is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Gloucester Way, EC1R Gloucester Way is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Haywards Place, EC1R Haywards Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Herbal Hill, EC1R This is a street in the EC1R postcode area
Joseph Close, N4 Joseph Close is a road in the N4 postcode area
Joseph Trotter Close, EC1R Joseph Trotter Close is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Kingsway Place, EC1R Kingsway Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Laystall Street, EC1R Laystall Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Meredith Street, EC1R Meredith Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Myddelton Street, EC1R Myddelton Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Newington Close, EC1R This is a street in the EC1R postcode area
Northampton Road, EC1R Northampton Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Pear Tree Court, EC1R Pear Tree Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Ray Street, EC1R Ray Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Rosoman Place, EC1R Rosoman Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Sans Walk, EC1R Sans Walk is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Sans Works, EC1R Sans Works is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Scotswood Street, EC1R Scotswood Street is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Sekforde Court, EC1V Sekforde Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Sekforde Street, EC1R Sekforde Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Skinner Street, EC1R Skinner Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
St Jamess Walk, EC1R St Jamess Walk is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
St. John Street, EC1R St. John Street is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Summers Street, EC1R Summers Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
The Horseshoe Path, WC1B The Horseshoe Path is a road in the WC1B postcode area
Topham Street, EC1R Topham Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Vine Hill, EC1R Vine Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Warner Street, EC1R Warner Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Warner Yard, EC1R Warner Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Woodbridge Street, EC1R Woodbridge Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.


VIEW THE CLERKENWELL AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE CLERKENWELL AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE CLERKENWELL AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE CLERKENWELL AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE CLERKENWELL AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Clerkenwell

Clerkenwell was once known as London's Little Italy because of the large number of Italians living in the area from the 1850s until the 1960s.

Clerkenwell took its name from the Clerks' Well in Farringdon Lane. In the Middle Ages, the London Parish clerks performed annual mystery plays there, based on biblical themes. Part of the well remains visible, incorporated into a 1980s building called Well Court.

In the 17th century South Clerkenwell became a fashionable place of residence. Oliver Cromwell owned a house on Clerkenwell Close, just off the Green. Several aristocrats had houses there, most notably the Duke of Northumberland, as did people such as Erasmus Smith.

Before Clerkenwell became a built-up area, it had a reputation as a resort a short walk out of the city, where Londoners could disport themselves at its spas, of which there were several, based on natural chalybeate springs, tea gardens and theatres. The present day Sadler's Wells has survived as heir to this tradition.

Clerkenwell was also the location of three prisons: the Clerkenwell Bridewell, Coldbath Fields Prison (later Clerkenwell Gaol) and the New Prison, later the Clerkenwell House of Detention, notorious as the scene of the Clerkenwell Outrage in 1867, an attempted prison break by Fenians who killed many in the tenement houses on Corporation Row in trying to blow a hole in the prison wall.

The Industrial Revolution changed the area greatly. It became a centre for breweries, distilleries and the printing industry. It gained a special reputation for the making of clocks and watches, which activity once employed many people from around the area. Flourishing craft workshops still carry on some of the traditional trades, such as jewellery-making. Clerkenwell is home to Witherby's, Europe's oldest printing company.

After the Second World War, Clerkenwell suffered from industrial decline and many of the premises occupied by the engineering, printing publishing and meat and food trades (the last mostly around Smithfield) fell empty. Several acclaimed council housing estates were commissioned by Finsbury Borough Council. Modernist architect and Russian émigré Berthold Lubetkin's listed Spa Green Estate, constructed 1943–1950, has recently been restored. The Finsbury Estate, constructed in 1968 to the designs of Joseph Emberton includes flats, since altered and re-clad.

A general revival and gentrification process began in the 1980s, and the area is now known for loft-living in some of the former industrial buildings. It also has young professionals, nightclubs and restaurants and is home to many professional offices as an overspill for the nearby City of London and West End.

Amongst other sectors, there is a notable concentration of design professions around Clerkenwell, and supporting industries such as high-end designer furniture showrooms.
Print-friendly version of this page


View copyright notice