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Situated east of King’s Cross and just south of Islington, Clerkenwell was once a home of monkish piety – nowadays it’s a whole lot more lively.
The Knights Hospitallers of St John were founded in the 14th century Priory of Clerkenwell to give medical assistance to King Arthur’s Crusaders, and the modern St John’s Ambulance brigade were also based here: you can still see the rebuilt St John’s Priory Gate, sometime workplace of Dr Samuel Johnson and childhood home of painter William Hogarth in St John’s Square.
Clerkenwell’s always been fashionable and a bit radical: whilst there’s no grass on Clerkenwell Green there’s a hell of a lot of left-wing history, as this was the hub of British Communism. Lenin produced 16 issues of his ground-breaking Iskra newspaper at the Social Democratic Federation at number 37a, and as well as a centre for meetings, rallies and plots, the Marx Memorial Library archive remains on this site.
Pilgrims of the Revolution should also visit the Crown Tavern (43 Clerkenwell Green, 020 7704 7621), a trendy Victorian boozer where Lenin and Stalin first fatefully met in 1905.
Another revolution, albeit a markedly more peaceful one, can be attributed to Clerkenwell: it’s the home of The Eagle (159 Farringdon Road, 020 7837 1353), officially Britain’s first purveyors of the clean, food-focused Modern European public house known as the “gastropub” which has transformed the UK’s drinking habits, so you know who to blame for your local being turned into a poncey smoke-free den of frites and olives. Though to be fair, it’s still a great place to dine. Another local culinary landmark is St John (26 St John Street, 020 7251 0848, www.stjohnrestaurant.co.uk), world-renowned for Fergus Maclean’s “nose-to-tail” menus – think entire suckling pigs, squirrels and the like – and recently named the 10th best restaurant on the planet.
Smithfield Market’s north side is a nightlife mecca centred around Fabric (77a Charterhouse Street, 0871 971 6513, www.fabriclondon.com), a huge, futuristic club blazing a path for left-field electronic music, and one of the capital’s best.
For Clerkenwell, take the Metropolitan, Circle or Hammersmith & City lines or overground to Farringdon, or it’s a short walk from King’s Cross and Angel.
|Market View Apartments by BridgeStreet Worldwide||15-20 West Smithfield|
Market View Apartments by Bridgestreet are situated in London EC1 postcode which is Clerkenwell.
This area is...
|Farringdon Station||1||Metropolitan - Circle line - Hammersmith & City||0.26 miles|
|Chancery Lane Station||1||Central||0.52 miles|
|Barbican Station||1||Metropolitan - Circle line - Hammersmith & City||0.70 miles|
|Holborn Station||1||Central - Piccadilly||1.05 miles|
|St. Pauls Station||1||Central||1.10 miles|
|Farringdon Station||0.21 miles|
|Barbican Station||0.67 miles|
|London City Thameslink Station||0.70 miles|
|London Blackfriars Station||1.25 miles|
|Kings Cross Thameslink Station||1.29 miles|