Central School of Ballet Central School of Ballet is a classical ballet school based in London, with students from countries all over the world. Clerkenwell Priory Clerkenwell Priory was a priory of the Monastic Order of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem, located in Clerkenwell, London. Hockley-in-the-Hole Hockley-in-the-Hole was an area where bear-baiting and duelling took place in the 18th century. Maison Novelli Maison Novelli was a restaurant in Clerkenwell, Central London, located opposite the Old Session House. Marx Memorial Library The Marx Memorial Library in London holds more than 43,000 books, pamphlets and newspapers on Marxism, Scientific Socialism and Working class history. Middlesex Sessions House The Former Middlesex Session(s) House or the Old Sessions House is a large building on Clerkenwell Green. Smithfield, London Smithfield is a locality in the ward of Farringdon Without situated at the City of London’s northwest in central London, England. St John Clerkenwell St John Clerkenwell is a former parish church in Clerkenwell, now used as the chapel of the modern Order of St John. St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell St John’s Gate is one of the few tangible remains from Clerkenwell’s monastic past; it was built in 1504 by Prior Thomas Docwra as the south entrance to the inner precinct of Clerkenwell Priory, the priory of the Knights of Saint John - the Knights Hospitallers. Albemarle Way, EC1M Albemarle Way was named after Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Albermarle, who lived at Newcastle House nearby in the 18th century. Aylesbury Street, EC1V Aylesbury Street - after the earl of Aylesbury who owned a house near here in the 17th century. Back Hill, EC1N Back Hill is simply named as it lies off (or to the ’back’) of a main road. Bakers Row, EC1R Bakers Row is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area. Bakers Yard, EC1R Bakers Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area. Coldbath Square, EC1R Coldbath Square was named after a well of cold water that stood here alone in surrounding fields. Elm Street, WC1X Elm Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area. Ely Court, EC1N Ely Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area. Ely Place, EC1N Ely Place is a gated road at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden. Exmouth Market, EC1R Exmouth Market, formerly Exmouth Street, is semi-pedestrianised - the location of an outdoor street market. Field Court, WC1R Field Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1R postal area. Grays Inn, WC1X Grays Inn is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area. Hand Court, WC1R Hand Court is one of the streets of London in the WC1V postal area. Hatton Garden, EC1N Hatton Garden is a street and area noted as London’s jewellery quarter and centre of the UK diamond trade. Hatton Wall, EC1N Hatton Wall is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area. Jerusalem Passage, EC1V Jerusalem Passage was named for an old public house, St. John of Jerusalem, which stood at the northeast corner until 1760. John Street, WC1N John Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Johns Mews, WC1N Johns Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Kings Mews, WC1X Kings Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Kirby Street, EC1N Kirby Street was named for Christopher Hatton’s Kirby House in Northamptonshire. Kirk Street, WC1N Kirk Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Leather Lane, EC1N Leather Lane is a street one block west of Hatton Garden, in the Holborn area of London. North Mews, WC1N North Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area. Pine Street, EC1R Pine Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area. Ray Street, EC1R Ray Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area. Saffron Hill, EC1N Saffron Hill’s name derives the time that it was part of an estate on which saffron grew. Sans Walk, EC1R Sans Walk was named after Edward Sans in 1893, who was then the oldest member of the local parish vestry. Vine Hill, EC1R Vine Hill now displays no evidence on the vines that once flourished in the grounds on which it stands. Warner Yard, EC1R Warner Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area. Wren Street, WC1X Wren Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1Xpostal area.
Clerkenwell was once known as London's Little Italy because of the large number of Italians living in the area from the 1850s until the 1960s.
Clerkenwell took its name from the Clerks' Well in Farringdon Lane
. In the Middle Ages, the London Parish clerks performed annual mystery plays there, based on biblical themes. Part of the well remains visible, incorporated into a 1980s building called Well Court.
In the 17th century South Clerkenwell became a fashionable place of residence. Oliver Cromwell owned a house on Clerkenwell Close
, just off the Green. Several aristocrats had houses there, most notably the Duke of Northumberland, as did people such as Erasmus Smith.
Before Clerkenwell became a built-up area, it had a reputation as a resort a short walk out of the city, where Londoners could disport themselves at its spas, of which there were several, based on natural chalybeate springs, tea gardens and theatres. The present day Sadler's Wells has survived as heir to this tradition.
Clerkenwell was also the location of three prisons: the Clerkenwell Bridewell, Coldbath Fields Prison (later Clerkenwell Gaol) and the New Prison, later the Clerkenwell House of Detention, notorious as the scene of the Clerkenwell Outrage in 1867, an attempted prison break by Fenians who killed many in the tenement houses on Corporation Row
in trying to blow a hole in the prison wall.
The Industrial Revolution changed the area greatly. It became a centre for breweries, distilleries and the printing industry. It gained a special reputation for the making of clocks and watches, which activity once employed many people from around the area. Flourishing craft workshops still carry on some of the traditional trades, such as jewellery-making. Clerkenwell is home to Witherby's, Europe's oldest printing company.
After the Second World War, Clerkenwell suffered from industrial decline and many of the premises occupied by the engineering, printing publishing and meat and food trades (the last mostly around Smithfield) fell empty. Several acclaimed council housing estates were commissioned by Finsbury Borough Council. Modernist architect and Russian émigré Berthold Lubetkin's listed Spa Green Estate, constructed 1943–1950, has recently been restored. The Finsbury Estate, constructed in 1968 to the designs of Joseph Emberton includes flats, since altered and re-clad.
A general revival and gentrification process began in the 1980s, and the area is now known for loft-living in some of the former industrial buildings. It also has young professionals, nightclubs and restaurants and is home to many professional offices as an overspill for the nearby City of London and West End.
Amongst other sectors, there is a notable concentration of design professions around Clerkenwell, and supporting industries such as high-end designer furniture showrooms.