Esoteric London

No. 489: London Wall, EC2

Posted in Architectural, Housing, Wartime London by esotericlondon on January 12, 2012

Barbican Estate, London Wall, London, EC2. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

London by Day and Night – David W.Bartlett, 1852:

Some distance to the north-east of St. Clement’s Inn is Smithfield Market, where live cattle are bought and sold – a place renowned wherever the religion of Protestantism is known; for upon that open area of ground [Hugh] Latimer and [Nicholas] Ridley were burned. But it is a sorry place in which to indulge in sentiment, for it is one of the greatest nuisances in London. We arose early one Monday morning and visited it before breakfast. On our way we crossed “Bartholomew Close,” the place where the author of Paradise Lost once hid himself from his governmental persecutors. We also saw “the Barbican.”

[ The photograph above shows Shakespeare Tower, part of the Barbican Estate, viewed from inside the medieval St Giles Cripplegate Tower. The St Giles Cripplegate Tower survives to two-thirds of its original height and in the photo you can clearly see the holes in the masonry where the beams would have rested  to support the timber floors. It was uncovered during the Barbican redevelopment in the 1960’s,(when the Shakespeare Tower was built), having been almost buried in earth dumped in and around it over the years to raise the level of the churchyard which once abutted it. R.D.]

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