When the Survey of London resolved to tackle Clerkenwell some years back, the revival of that
richly intricate district of the capital had not yet advanced very far. Today Southern
Clerkenwell, just north of the City, has become one of London's prized locations. It is home
to many in the creative industries, its restaurants and bars are thronged, and its population has
been rising for two decades. That is to speak of the parts of Clerkenwell described in the present
volume. Northern Clerkenwell, covered by the companion volume XLVII of the Survey, published simultaneously, has long boasted some of London's most enjoyable Georgian housing
and urban landscapes, as well as an intriguingly mixed quarter beyond the Angel and Pentonville
Road, reaching north into what most people think of as Islington. Long ripe for study, the two
parts of Clerkenwell are surely among London's most fascinating historic districts.
Clerkenwell's present prosperity is deeply indebted to its past. Its density of development,
its patterns of land-use and its street layout are all rooted in a long, unbroken history, going
back to monastic foundations. The continuities in the area's industrial and commercial history
are striking, while many of its robust and excellent buildings are now enjoying their second or
even their third type of use. We now recognize that the juxtaposition of new and old architecture helps to endow our inner cities with vitality and character. In this respect, Clerkenwell has
been exemplary. So it is appropriate that the Survey of London should crown the area's renewal
with the in-depth analysis and description of its history and architectural fabric which it is
uniquely equipped to do. Within the compass of the present volumes, the Survey brings
together the riches of the area, aiming to omit nothing of significance, old or new. In so doing
it has created a practical record of enduring value and usefulness for planners, residents, historians and the wider public.
Because of Clerkenwell's multiplicity of layers, these volumes are probably the most complex
to have been undertaken in the hundred-year span of the Survey of London. They also mark
some new departures. They are the second and third to be produced under the auspices of
English Heritage, but the first to be sponsored by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British
Art, which has generously agreed to support publication of the Survey for an initial five-year
period. Under this agreement, Yale University Press has become the publishers of the Survey
volumes. The present books are the first fruits of that arrangement.
In another departure, these are the first volumes of the Survey to have photographs integrated with the text alongside the drawings, and to make widespread use of colour images.
Integrated layouts promote ease of reading and reference, but require much attention to detail
and appearance of design. It is to be hoped that those who are accustomed to the old-style
Survey of London volumes with plates at the back will feel that standards of appearance have
been maintained, and so will welcome and embrace the change.
While the Clerkenwell volumes have been in preparation, all previous parish volumes of the
Survey have gone on line through the British History Online project, as part of English
Heritage's commitment to widening access to its resources and scholarly activities. In that way, the
knowledge contained in the series now reaches a far broader public. In due course, the intention is to
make Clerkenwell accessible in the same way. But those who feel most at home with the format of the
printed page may be assured that it is English Heritage's intention to maintain this august and beautiful series in book form, along with its proud standards of scholarship, writing and discrimination.
For those qualities, it is hoped, these volumes may stand as the equal of their predecessors.
As with most Survey of London publications, the Clerkenwell volumes have been the product of
a team of writers, researchers, illustrators and photographers. Much of the work was done during the
General Editorship of John Greenacombe, and completed under the guidance of his successor,
Andrew Saint. Both volumes were edited by Philip Temple. Research and writing on the area was
begun by Alan Cox, the late Catherine Mullen (Catherine Steeves) and Rosalind Woodhouse. The
greater part of the research and writing was undertaken by John Greenacombe, Peter Guillery, Aileen
Reid, Harriet Richardson, Andrew Saint, Philip Temple and Colin Thom; additional contributions
were provided by Carol Davidson Cragoe, Stephen Porter and Suzanne Waters. The drawings were
prepared by Gemma Bryant, Michael F. Clements, Malcolm Dickson, Andrew Donald, Helen Jones
and George Wilson, and new photography carried out by Sid Barker, Derek Kendall and Mike
Seaforth. Charles Walker prepared many of the images for publication. Outside English Heritage,
Wendy Dellit, Michael Jardine, Colin Taylor and Stephen G. Yoder also helped with some additional
English Heritage gratefully acknowledges the numerous individuals and institutions who have
assisted in the preparation of this volume, particularly the following:
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service; Peter Drummond and colleagues at
BDP; British Architectural Library, Royal Institute of British Architects; Master of
Charterhouse; City of Westminster Archives Centre; City University; Corporation of London
Record Office; CZWG; Daniel Watney; Guildhall Library (Corporation of London), especially
Jeremy Smith and the staff of the Print Room; all the staff and former staff at the Islington
Local History Centre, Finsbury Library, in particular Martin Banham, David Withey and Vada
Hart; Alec Forshaw, David John and colleagues in the Islington Borough Conservation
Department; Vaughan Melsom and colleagues at Islington Borough Council Building Control
Service; Martin Tasker and colleagues at Islington Borough Council planning department; all
the staff at London Metropolitan Archives (Corporation of London); London Transport
Museum; Dr John Callow and fellow staff at the Marx Memorial Library, Clerkenwell Green;
McCann-Erickson; Museum of London Archaeology Service; Pamela Willis and her colleagues
at the Museum and Library of the Order of St John, St John's Gate; staff at English Heritage's
National Monuments Record Centre in Swindon, in particular Lyndsay Jones, Alyson Rogers,
Ian Savage and Nigel Wilkins; Northamptonshire Record Office; Peel Centre; St Bartholomew's
Hospital Archives; St John Ambulance; Society of Friends Library, Friends House; Prue
MacGibbon, Archivist to the Worshipful Company of Brewers; and the Victoria County History
of England, especially Patricia Croot.
The Rev. Andrew Baughen; Alan Baxter; Victor Belcher; Gordon Brindley; Bridget Cherry;
Jonathan Clarke; Mary Cosh; Gillian Darley; Maurice Dunman; John Eichler; Chris Ellmers;
Tim Farmiloe; Mike Franks; Billy Gall-Gray; Rick Glanvill; Elain Harwood; Keith Haskins;
Derek Keene; Michael Kerney; Gerald Levin; Yvonne E. Long; Alex Mahboubian; John Pike
Mander; Thomas McCoog; Chris McKay; Sheila Munton; Peter Murray; John Partridge; Ann
Pembroke; Jon Pollard; Paul Poulter; Alan Powers; Dorian Price; David Quigley; Vincent
Sartori; Barney Sloane; Gavin Stamp; Anthony Symondson; Carol Thomas; Robert Thorne;
Ken Thurlow; Peter Walden; Isobel Watson; Michael Weaver; Clare Willsdon; Lucy Worsley.
In addition, the help and co-operation of all those owners, occupiers and agents who have
allowed access to properties for inspection and recording is gratefully acknowledged.
Owners of photographs and other illustrations reproduced in this volume are acknowledged
in the List of Illustrations.