Esoteric London

No. 886: Clifford’s Inn Passage, EC4

Posted in Architectural, Lettering by esotericlondon on July 22, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_8442 copy

Clifford’s Inn Passage, London, EC4. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Picturesque London – Percy Fitzgerald, 1890:

As we turn from the bustle and hurly-burly of Fleet Street, hard by St. Dunstan’s – an effective modern church – we see a retired alley, leading by a curious little archway into Clifford’s Inn. It is difficult to conceive the sudden surprise as we find ourselves in this forlorn inclosure. It might be a fragment of some decayed country town, or of some of those left-behind corners we come upon in an old Dutch or Flemish hamlet. Here are a few ragged, blighted trees, a little railed-in square without grass, inexpressibly unkempt, like a disused burial-ground, on which blink sadly the ancient crusted mansions surrounding the old “Chambers.”

[ To this day Clifford’s Inn remains forlorn and seems little more than a cut through from Chancery Lane to Fleet Street. However, the entrance into the Inn along Clifford’s Inn Passage takes you through a Grade II Listed gatehouse with old stone tablets set into the screen wall adjacent, one of which is pictured in the photograph above. R.D.]

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