Secret Islington and Clerkenwell

Lucy McMurdo


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Amberley Publishing
15 April 2024
ISBN: 9781398112810
96 pages

From the publisher

Secret Clerkenwell and Islington explores the lesser-known history of Clerkenwell and Islington in London through a fascinating selection of stories, unusual facts and attractive photographs.

Secret Islington and Clerkenwell delves into this historic area’s often unknown but colourful past. It takes the reader on a fascinating journey from the time when these villages were rural communities up to the thriving, vibrant neighbourhoods they are today. You will discover what made the area initially so attractive to farmers and dairy maids, why so many monastic communities settled here in the Middle Ages, and how a seventeenth-century waterway supplying water to Londoners was not only built in the district but is still providing water to the capital today.

This book highlights the role that great revolutionary figures such as Wat Tyler, Lenin, Mazzini and Garibaldi have played in Clerkenwell, as well as the contribution made by its very many immigrants, especially the Huguenots, Italian and Irish. You will discover how in the late 1800s extreme poverty and squalid living in unsanitary rookeries led to great criminal activity and how benevolent philanthropists stepped in to provide the local population with improved facilities and social housing.

With tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and tucked-away or disappeared historical buildings and locations, this book will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of these areas of London.