Rebels, Radicals and Rough Justice: Historic Clerkenwell

    11 Nov 2015
    Clock 60min      Length1mi
    8 ratings


    Pay wave

    Stop here while I tell you about the gruesome history of Smithfield, the area we’re in now.

    First, look back at the gateway you have just come through. The Tudor half-timbered frontage was plastered over for centuries and only rediscovered after a Zeppelin bomb damaged it in the First World War. Above the gateway you can see a wooden statue of St Bartholomew, carrying a knife. The saint had been martyred and killed by flaying him alive, as represented by his knife.


    Now look at the entrance to the building with two Ionic columns on your left. On the left of the entrance is a memorial to John Rogers and other protestant martyrs. They were burnt at Smithfield in the reign of Queen Mary in the 1550s.

    The memorial on the right of the entrance is to William Wallace, the Scottish patriot. He was defeated by Edward I and brought to Smithfield to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

    Now turn back in the direction we were heading before we stopped. Then continue straight, keeping the traffic circle on your right.

    As you can see, Smithfield was historically a place of slaughter, of both animals and humans. It was also the site of the annual Bartholomew Fair which was run from the 1100s until 1855. It was then suppressed for rowdiness, drunkenness and debauchery.

Similar Audio Tours in London

Rachel poop 16compressed2
by The Loo Lady Erickson in London
12 Nov 2014
Ilya loo tour large 7

At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour

Distance 1.5mi
Duration 40min
13 ratings

Plunge yourself into the surprisingly dynamic world of the British Public Toilet. This tour takes you past some of London's most iconic views with a new twist.

Performed by Rachel Erickson (The Loo Lady), Music by Paul Freeman, Guest voices:... More»

Rachel poop 16compressed2
by The Loo Lady Erickson in London
25 Nov 2014
London school of hygiene and tropical medicine

At Your Convenience: History, Health and Hygiene

Distance 1mi
Duration 30min
1 rating

We take toilets (and most other sanitary fixtures) for granted... but there is nothing pre-ordained or natural about them. They reflect deeply ingrained cultural norms.
This walk through Bloomsbury dives into the history of toilets and how we... More»

Locicon Gower Street
by Brian Cookson in London
19 Nov 2015
Tower bridge and the gherkin

Southwark: London's Historic Entertainment District

Distance 1mi
Duration 45min
18 ratings

On this walk we follow in the footsteps of Chaucer and Shakespeare across London Bridge to the south bank of the Thames. Here is the district of Southwark, which used to have a murky reputation, as it provided the entertainment, manufacture and... More»