Spitalfields

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SPITALFIELDS – ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The LOCAL HISTORY & ARCHIVE is at 277 Bancroft Road, E1 and is open Tue & Thurs 9-8, Fri 9-6 and Sat 9-5. Tel 020 7364 1290.

The BISHOPSGATE INSTITUTE offers an excellent reference library, lunchtime concerts and adult education courses. [more info] [website]

The MUSEUM OF LONDON is a good source of information on the area including archaeology. [website]

ANNA MARIA GARTHWAITE (1690-1763) was the daughter of a wealthy rector in Lincolnshire. She moved with her sister to 2 Princelet Street where she became a leading designer for the local silk's industry. She catalogued her designs, recording details of the weavers and mercers. These are now held by the V & A Museum.

This former TURKISH BATH was built in 1894-5 with only a small kiosk at ground level. The architect S Harold Elphick modelled the baths on the shrine at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Externally it is a Moorish structure of blue faience, brick & terracotta with an onion dome housing water tanks. Stairs lead down to richly decorated lower rooms with tiles produced by the Craven Dunhill Company. The saloon was in 'Alhambra Fashion' with couches, mirrors, velvet carpets and a fountain. There were 3 hot rooms with marbled surfaces and stained glass windows. Faience, marble & mosaic were also used in the shampooing room, shower bath and plunge bath. Admission was 3/6 or 2/- after 7pm. They closed in the 1950s and are currently in use as an Italian restaurant.

The NATIONAL MONUMENTS RECORD has photos of Artillery Lane, Brick Lane, Elder Street, Folgate Street, Fournier Street, Spital Square and Wilkes Street. Also articles from Country Life, written in the 1970s when Spitalfields was at a low ebb and interior & exterior photos of Christ Church. [more info]

CHRIST CHURCH is generally open to visitors 11-4 Monday to Friday and is a major venue for the Spitalfields Festival in June. Friends website

The Museum of London cleared and recorded 1000 burials from the crypt (ref CAS84). Peter Ackroyd has written an unusual novel 'Hawksmoor' which interweaves the story of a modern murder detective with the 18th century architect.

This walk passes a number of CITY CHURCHES. The Friends of City Churches have a website. There is an inexpensive Pitkin Guide with a map, photographs and descriptions. Whilst in the area you may like to visit ST MARY MOORFIELDS CHURCH at 4-5 Eldon Street. Refurbished with an unusual marble apse it is open 8:30 - 6:15 Monday to Friday.

The site of the first BETHLEM ROYAL HOSPITAL is now covered by the Great Eastern Hotel. The second building of 1675 was at Moorfields/London Wall where it is marked with a plaque. There is a Hospital Museum at Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham which is usually open 9:30 -5 Monday to Friday. Please telephone 020 8776 4307 or 4227 to check.

RAVEN ROW at 56 Artillery Lane is a non-profit contemporary art exhibition centre that is open free to the public, Wednesday to Friday 11-6. It has been constructed within eighteenth century domestic rooms, onto which 6a Architects have added two contemporary galleries. Iit stands on the part of Artillery Lane that was known as Raven Row until 1895. Tel: 020 7377 4300. [website]

Until his death in 1999, 18 FOLGATE STREET was owned and occupied by Dennis Severs who re-created the rooms as they would have been at different times during the past in the ownership of the imaginary Jervis family. It is possible to visit the ten roomed house and enjoy its unique atmosphere but do not wear your best clothes as it can be rather smoky! [website]

Over three months in 1888 JACK THE RIPPER brutally murdered at least five prostitutes in London's East End. This walk includes two sites where his victims were found and a pub they frequented. For a wealth of information on Jack the Ripper and his London there is an excellent website.

To celebrate the area's history and cultural diversity 25 roundels were set into the pavements. They were designed by local artist Keith Bowler and cast at Hoyle & Sons Foundry in Hackney. [details]

The area is noted for its MARKETS chiefly Spitalfields 11- 3:30 Mon - Fri & 10-3 Sun, Petticoat Lane and Wentworth Street (clothes) 10-2:30 Mon - Fri & 9-2 Sun and Brick Lane 8-2 Sunday. Also Leadenhall Market specialising in luxury foods (pictured) is open 7-4 Mon - Fri. A booklet 'Real london Markets' with more details has been produced by Transport for London.

The Broadgate development was designed to incorporate public spaces and works of art [more info]. A programme of events takes place in the Arena and Exchange Square (pictured) 12:30 - 2 May to September. From October to April the Arena is a public ice rink. [website]

The LONDON WALL WALK can be followed between the Museum of London and the Tower. It was marked by 21 descriptive panels but some are now missing. There is more information on my webpage

The THAMES PATH follows the Thames for 184 miles from its source in the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier. It is signposted and in London runs along both banks. There is a guide book with maps written by David Sharp.[website]

london-footprints.co.uk 2011

[introduction] [route & what to see] [roundels] [gallery] [walks list]