Clerkenwell

Suburb, existing until now

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(51.524 -0.103, 51.524 -0.103) 
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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 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.


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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Comment
MCNALLY    
Added: 17 May 2021 09:42 GMT   

Blackfriars (1959 - 1965)
I lived in Upper Ground from 1959 to 1964 I was 6 years old my parents Vince and Kitty run the Pub The Angel on the corner of Upper Ground and Bodies Bridge. I remember the ceiling of the cellar was very low and almost stretched the length of Bodies Bridge. The underground trains run directly underneath the pub. If you were down in the cellar when a train was coming it was quite frightening

Reply
Reply
Tom   
Added: 21 May 2021 23:07 GMT   

Blackfriars
What is, or was, Bodies Bridge?

Reply

Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

Millions Of Rats In Busy London
The Daily Mail on 14 April 1903 reported "MILLIONS OF RATS IN BUSY LONDON"

A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

The rats, indeed, have appeared in almost-incredible numbers. "There are millions of them," said one shopkeeper, and his statement was supported by other residents. The unwelcome visitors have been evicted from their old haunts by the County Council housebreakers, and are now busily in search of new homes. The Gaiety Restaurant has been the greatest sufferer. Rats have invaded the premises in such force that the managers have had to close the large dining room on the first floor and the grill rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. Those three spacious halls which have witnessed many as semblages of theatre-goers are now qui:e deserted. Behind the wainscot of the bandstand in the grillroom is a large mound of linen shreds. This represents 1728 serviettes carried theee by the rats.

In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

Reply
Comment
Lena    
Added: 18 Mar 2021 13:08 GMT   

White Conduit Street, N1
My mum, Rosina Wade of the Wade and Hannam family in the area of Chapel Street and Parkfield Street, bought her first “costume” at S Cohen’s in White Conduit Street. Would have probably been about 1936 or thereabouts. She said that he was a small man but an expert tailor. I hope that Islington Council preserve the shop front as it’s a piece of history of the area. Mum used to get her high heel shoes from an Italian shoe shop in Chapel Street. She had size 2 feet and they would let her know when a new consignment of size 2 shoes were in. I think she was a very good customer. She worked at Killingbacks artificial flower maker in Northampton Square and later at the Halifax bombers factory north of Edgware where she was a riveter.

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Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

Reply
Comment
Jeff Owen   
Added: 20 Mar 2021 16:18 GMT   

Owen’s School
Owen Street is the site of Owen’s Boys’ School. The last school was built in 1881 and was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the development which stand there today. It was a “Direct Grant” grammar school and was founded in 1613 by Dame Alice Owen. What is now “Owen’s Fields” was the playground between the old school and the new girls’ school (known then as “Dames Alice Owen’s School” or simply “DAOS”). The boys’ school had the top two floors of that building for their science labs. The school moved to Potters Bar in Hertfordshire in 1971 and is now one of the top State comprehensive schools in the country. The old building remained in use as an accountancy college and taxi-drivers’ “knowledge” school until it was demolished. The new building is now part of City and Islington College. Owen’s was a fine school. I should know because I attended there from 1961 to 1968.

Reply

   
Added: 3 Jun 2021 15:50 GMT   

All Bar One
The capitalisation is wrong

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Comment
old lady   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 11:58 GMT   

mis information
Cheltenham road was originally
Hall road not Hill rd
original street name printed on house still standing

Reply
Comment
Patricia Bridges   
Added: 19 Jul 2021 10:57 GMT   

Lancefield Coachworks
My grandfather Tom Murray worked here

Reply
Lived here
Former Philbeach Gardens Resident   
Added: 14 Jul 2021 00:44 GMT   

Philbeach Gardens Resident (Al Stewart)
Al Stewart, who had huts in the 70s with the sings ’Year of the Cat’ and ’On The Borders’, lived in Philbeach Gdns for a while and referenced Earl’s Court in a couple of his songs.
I lived in Philbeach Gardens from a child until my late teens. For a few years, on one evening in the midst of Summer, you could hear Al Stewart songs ringing out across Philbeach Gardens, particularly from his album ’Time Passages". I don’t think Al was living there at the time but perhaps he came back to see some pals. Or perhaps the broadcasters were just his fans,like me.
Either way, it was a wonderful treat to hear!

Reply
Lived here
David James Bloomfield   
Added: 13 Jul 2021 11:54 GMT   

Hurstway Street, W10
Jimmy Bloomfield who played for Arsenal in the 1950s was brought up on this street. He was a QPR supporter as a child, as many locals would be at the time, as a teen he was rejected by them as being too small. They’d made a mistake

Reply
Comment
Added: 6 Jul 2021 05:38 GMT   

Wren Road in the 1950s and 60s
Living in Grove Lane I knew Wren Road; my grandfather’s bank, Lloyds, was on the corner; the Scout District had their office in the Congregational Church and the entrance to the back of the Police station with the stables and horses was off it. Now very changed - smile.

Reply

fariba   
Added: 28 Jun 2021 00:48 GMT   

Tower Bridge Business Complex, S
need for my coursework

Source: university

Reply
Lived here
Kim Johnson   
Added: 24 Jun 2021 19:17 GMT   

Limehouse Causeway (1908)
My great grandparents were the first to live in 15 Tomlins Terrace, then my grandparents and parents after marriage. I spent the first two years of my life there. My nan and her family lived at number 13 Tomlins Terrace. My maternal grandmother lived in Maroon house, Blount Street with my uncle. Nan, my mum and her brothers were bombed out three times during the war.

Reply
Comment
Peter H Davies   
Added: 17 Jun 2021 09:33 GMT   

Ethelburga Estate
The Ethelburga Estate - named after Ethelburga Road - was an LCC development dating between 1963–65. According to the Wikipedia, it has a "pleasant knitting together of a series of internal squares". I have to add that it’s extremely dull :)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Central School of Ballet Central School of Ballet is a classical ballet school based in London, with students from countries all over the world.
Clerkenwell Preceptory The following is a list of monastic houses in Greater London, England.
Clerkenwell Priory Clerkenwell Priory was a priory of the Monastic Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, located in Clerkenwell, London.
Golden Lane Estate, EC1Y The Golden Lane Housing Estate is a 1950s council housing complex in the City of London.
Hicks Hall Hicks Hall (1611 - 1778) was a building in St John Street, Clerkenwell, London.
Hockley-in-the-Hole Hockley-in-the-Hole was an area where bear-baiting and duelling took place in the 18th century.
Maison Novelli Maison Novelli was a restaurant in Clerkenwell, Central London, located opposite the Old Session House.
Marx Memorial Library The Marx Memorial Library in London holds more than 43,000 books, pamphlets and newspapers on Marxism, Scientific Socialism and Working class history.
Middlesex Sessions House The Former Middlesex Session(s) House or the Old Sessions House is a large building on Clerkenwell Green.
Museum of the Order of St John The Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London, tells the story of the Venerable Order of Saint John.
St James’s Church, Clerkenwell St James Church, Clerkenwell, is an Anglican parish church.
St John Clerkenwell St John Clerkenwell is a former parish church in Clerkenwell, now used as the chapel of the modern Order of St John.
St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell St John’s Gate is one of the few tangible remains from Clerkenwell’s monastic past; it was built in 1504 by Prior Thomas Docwra as the south entrance to the inner precinct of Clerkenwell Priory, the priory of the Knights of Saint John - the Knights Hospitallers.
St Peter’s Italian Church St. Peter’s Italian Church is a Basilica-style church located in Holborn.

THE STREETS OF CLERKENWELL
Agdon Street, EC1V Agdon Street was originally called Woods Close.
Albemarle Way, EC1M Albemarle Way was named after Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Albermarle, who lived at Newcastle House nearby in the 18th century.
Albion Place, EC1M Albion Place was formerly George Court.
Amias Place, EC1Y Amias Place was formerly George Yard.
Aylesbury Street, EC1V Aylesbury Street - after the earl of Aylesbury who owned a house near here in the 17th century.
Baker’s Yard, EC1R Baker’s Yard leads off Bakers Row.
Baker’s Row, EC1R Bakers Row was named after Richard Baker, a local 18th century carpenter.
Baltic Street East, EC1Y Baltic Street East was built by a timber merchant around 1810 who named local streets after trade-related activities.
Banner Street, EC1Y Banner Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Beech Street, EC1Y Beech Street is one of the streets of London in the EC2Y postal area.
Berkeley Court, EC1M Berkeley Court ran south out of Berkley Street (now Briset Street).
Bonhill Street, EC2A Bonhill Street is one of the streets of London in the EC2A postal area.
Bowling Green Lane, EC1R Bowling Green Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Brewhouse Yard, EC1V Brewhouse Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Briset Street, EC1M Briset Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Bryer Court, EC2Y Bryer Court is one of the streets of London in the EC2Y postal area.
Bunhill Fields, EC1Y Bunhill Fields is a road in the EC1Y postcode area
Bunhill Row, EC1Y Bunhill Row is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Central Street, EC1V Central Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Chequer Street, EC1Y Chequer Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Chiswell Street, EC2Y Chiswell Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
City Road, EC1Y City Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Clerkenwell Close, EC1R Clerkenwell Close is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Clerkenwell Green, EC1M Clerkenwell Green is the street named after the historical green.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1M Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1R Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Coldbath Square, EC1R Coldbath Square was named after a well of cold water that stood here alone in surrounding fields.
Cornwell House, EC1M Residential block
Cowcross Street, EC1M Cowcross Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Cyrus Street, EC1V Cyrus Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Davina House, EC1V Residential block
Domingo Street, EC1Y Domingo Street links Old Street with Baltic Street East.
Dufferin Avenue, EC1Y Dufferin Avenue is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Errol Street, EC1Y Errol Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Exmouth Market, EC1R Exmouth Market, formerly Exmouth Street, is semi-pedestrianised - the location of an outdoor street market.
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.
Farringdon Road, EC1R Farringdon Road is a road in Clerkenwell and Finsbury.
Faulkners Alley, EC1M Faulkners Alley is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Featherstone Street, EC1Y Featherstone Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Finsbury Court, EC2A Finsbury Court was obliterated in a redevelopment programme taking in Finsbury Pavement.
Galway Street, EC1V Galway Street was named for the Earl of Galway.
Gambier House, EC1V Residential block
Gard Street, EC1V Gard Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Garrett Street, EC1Y Garrett Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Gate House, EC1M Residential block
Golden Lane, EC1Y Golden Lane connects Old Street and Beech Street.
Goswell Road, EC1V Goswell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Great Sutton Street, EC1M Great Sutton Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Haywards Place, EC1V Haywards Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Helmet Row, EC1V Helmet Row is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Honduras Street, EC1Y Honduras Street dates from the 1810s.
Ironmonger Row, EC1V Ironmonger Row is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Jerusalem Passage, EC1V Jerusalem Passage was named for an old public house, St. John of Jerusalem, which stood at the northeast corner until 1760.
Laystall Street, EC1R Laystall Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Leo Yard, EC1V Leo Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Lever Street, EC1V Lever Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Lizard Street, EC1V Lizard Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Macclesfield Road, EC1V Macclesfield Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Malta Street, EC1V This is a street in the EC1V postcode area
Memel Street, EC1Y Memel Street was built over the site of a former brewery in the 1810s.
Mitchell Street, EC1V Mitchell Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Murton Street, EC1V Murton Street dates from about 1829.
Norman Street, EC1V Norman Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Northburgh Street, EC1M Northburgh Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Oliver’s Yard, EC2A Oliver’s Yard is a road in the EC2A postcode area
Pardon Street, EC1V Pardon Street was named after Pardon Chapel, founded in the wake of the Black Death in 1348.
Passing Alley, EC1M Passing Alley is a road in the EC1M postcode area
Paton Street, EC1V Paton Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Pear Tree Court, EC1R Pear Tree Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Pear Tree Street, EC1V Pear Tree Street connects Central Street and Goswell Road.
Penny Bank Chambers, EC1M Penny Bank Chambers is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Peter’s Lane, EC1M Peter’s Lane is named after the church which once stood close to the Cross Keys tavern.
PO Box 4, E3 Makers Yard is a location in London.
PO Box 4, EC1V St. John Street is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Primrose Street, EC2A Primrose Street is a location in London.
Radnor Street, EC1V Radnor Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Roscoe Street, EC1Y Roscoe Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Saint John Street, EC1M This is a street in the EC1M postcode area
Sans Walk, EC1R Sans Walk was named after Edward Sans in 1893, who was then the oldest member of the local parish vestry.
Sekforde Court, EC1R 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.
Seward Street, EC1V Seward Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Smokehouse Yard, EC1M Smokehouse Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St John’s Square, EC1M St John’s Square is split into two sections, north and south of Clerkenwell Road.
St Johns House, EC1M Residential block
St John’s Gate, EC1M St John’s Gate is a road in the EC1M postcode area
Sutton Lane, EC1M Sutton Lane is a road in the EC1M postcode area
Sutton Road, EC1M Sutton Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
The Charterhouse, EC1M Residential block
The Horseshoe Path, EC1R The Horseshoe Path runs around the back of the Horseshoe pub.
The Sutton Estate, EC1Y The Sutton Estate is a road in the N1 postcode area
Timber Street, EC1Y Timber Street was formerly called Norway Street.
Vine Hill, EC1R Vine Hill now displays no evidence on the vines that once flourished in the grounds on which it stands.
Warner Yard, EC1R Warner Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Warwick Yard, EC1Y Warwick Yard is a road in the EC1Y postcode area
Whitecross Street, EC1Y Whitecross Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1Y postal area.
Young’s Buildings, EC1Y Young’s Buildings was named after Francis Young, a local 18th century property owner

THE PUBS OF CLERKENWELL
All Bar One Moorgate This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Artillery Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
BarSmith This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Clerkenwell & Social This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Crown Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Honourable Artillery Company This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Lazybones This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Nomad Club This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Sabor Iberico This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Singer This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Sutton Arms This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Swingers This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Angel This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Artisan This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Betsey Trotwood This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Bowler This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Eagle This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Fence This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Green This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Horseshoe This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Old Ivy House This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Slaughtered Lamb This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Trader This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Well This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Three Kings This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
White Bear This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.




LOCAL PHOTOS
Smithfield Market
TUM image id: 1620388545
Licence:
The Angel, Islington (c.1890)
TUM image id: 1557162442
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Amen Court, EC4M
TUM image id: 1493474208
Licence: CC BY 2.0
Farringdon Street, EC4M
TUM image id: 1530111130
Licence: CC BY 2.0

In the neighbourhood...

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Smithfield Market
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Saint John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, the main gateway to the Priory of Saint John of Jerusalem. The church was founded in the 12th century by Jordan de Briset, a Norman knight. Prior Docwra completed the gatehouse shown in this photograph in 1504. The gateway served as the main entry to the Priory, which was the center of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (the Knights Hospitallers).
Credit: Henry Dixon (1880)
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Clerkenwell Green (1898) The water fountain shown here became public toilets.
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View of Cloth Fair in 1884 showing the side entrance to St Bartholomew’s Priory, Smithfield.
Credit: John Crowther
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Kirby Street sign
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Pardon Street
Credit: The Underground Map
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Saffron Hill street sign
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Sans Walk, Clerkenwell
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Until combined in the twentieth century, St John Street was split between St John Street (south) and St John Street Road (north)
Old London postcard
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(West) Smithfield from the ’woodcut’ map of c. 1561, illustrating its proximity with open fields to the west, and cattle pens by the City of London
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