Farringdon Road, EC1R

Road in/near Clerkenwell, existing between the 1840s and now

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Farringdon Road, EC1R

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Road · * · EC1R ·
JUNE
27
2017

Farringdon Road is a road in Clerkenwell and Finsbury.

The construction of Farringdon Road, which took almost 20 years between the 1840s and the 1860s, is considered one of the greatest urban engineering achievements of the 19th century. Not only was it one of the first engineered multi-lane roads, but it also buried the River Fleet in a system of underground tunnels, solving one of London’s most daunting sanitary problems. Its construction also included the building of the world’s first stretch of underground railway, a branch of the Metropolitan Railway that later became part of the London Underground running beneath Farringdon Road from King’s Cross St. Pancras into the City at Farringdon.

Like Clerkenwell Road and Rosebery Avenue, it had an enormous impact on the terrain, not just as a new route and topographical boundary across a tortuously laid out district, but also in bringing about wholesale redevelopment of the building fabric. With the making of the road some of the worst social and sanitary blots were erased from the local map, and opportunities provided for the erection of commercial premises on a large scale, transforming the economic and architectural character of the western fringe of Clerkenwell.

This transformation was neither smooth nor speedy. There were several contributory factors, the most important being the lack of a single executive body to carry out the project, widely recognised as a thoroughly desirable one. The creation of the southern half of the road, from Farringdon Street in the City to Clerkenwell Green, took from 1841 to 1856, and this after years of proposals and preparations. The other half, not strictly a new road but a reconstruction of most of Coppice Row and part of Bagnigge Wells Road, was built in the 1860s in conjunction with the cut-and-cover work for the Metropolitan Railway. The underground railway, and additional mainline tracks from King’s Cross, continued southwards in a cutting alongside Farringdon Road, necessitating a series of bridges for the side streets and one crossing of the railway lines.

For years, Farringdon Road was characterized by the wasteland of cleared sites and shored-up houses through which it passed. Building development, mostly for manufacturing and warehousing, but with some block dwellings, terrace-houses and pubs, did not begin until the mid-1860s and continued into the late 1880s. Essentially utilitarian, the big new mercantile buildings were, if seldom individually adventurous in style, imposing en masse. Despite considerable reconstruction since the Second World War, Farringdon Road retains much of this first generation commercial development.

The construction of Farringdon Road necessitated the removal of the Fleet Market that had been built in 1736 above the course of the River Fleet. North of the market was Hockley-in-the-Hole (around Ray Street Bridge), an area notorious for bear-baiting and similar activities.

Amongst the notable buildings on Farringdon Road are the former headquarters of The Guardian newspaper at No. 119, the so-called Zeppelin Building at No. 61 built in 1917 after a Zeppelin raid during World War I, and the western side of Smithfield Market.

A notorious building on Farringdon Road was the Farringdon Road Buildings, a five-tenement block of dwellings built for the working classes during the Victorian era. Lacking bathrooms and with poor sanitary conditions this building, one of the last slum dwellings to exist in central London, was still occupied until the early 1970s. Common features were poor lighting, overcrowding, with rat- and cockroach-infested living conditions, and people trapped by their own poverty. The residents were re-housed by Islington Borough Council and the buildings, close to Exmouth Market and the Royal Mail Mount Pleasant Sorting Office, were pulled down in the mid-1970s to be replaced by a multi-storey car park. A contemporary description of the buildings is given in George Gissing’s novel ’The Nether World’.

Today, Farringdon Road is part of the A201 route connecting King’s Cross to Elephant and Castle. It goes southeast from King’s Cross, crossing Roseberry Avenue, then turns south, crossing Clerkenwell Road before going past Farringdon station. It finishes on the border between the City of London, the London Borough of Camden and the London Borough of Islington, at a junction with Charterhouse Street. Its line continues into the City as Farringdon Street.


Main source: Search | British History Online
Further citations and sources



Farringdon Road and the Metropolitan Railway, 1868. Looking north from Turnmill Street

Farringdon Road and the Metropolitan Railway, 1868. Looking north from Turnmill Street
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NEARBY LOCATIONS OF NOTE
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 Preceptory The following is a list of monastic houses in Greater London, England.
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.
Museum of the Order of St John The Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, London, tells the story of the Venerable Order of Saint John.
St James’s Church, Clerkenwell St James Church, Clerkenwell, is an Anglican parish church.
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.
St Peter’s Italian Church St. Peter’s Italian Church is a Basilica-style church located in Holborn.

NEARBY STREETS
Agdon Street, EC1V Agdon Street was originally called Woods Close.
Albemarle Way, EC1V Albemarle Way was named after Elizabeth, Dowager Duchess of Albermarle, who lived at Newcastle House nearby in the 18th century.
Albion Place, EC1M Albion Place was formerly George Court.
Ampton Place, WC1X Ampton Place was previously called Frederick Place.
Ampton Street, WC1X Ampton Street was named after its builder, the 3rd Lord Calthorpe who owned land at Ampton, Suffolk.
Attneave Street, EC1R Attneave Street is thought to be named after a local builder in the 1890s called Attneave.
Aylesbury Street, EC1R 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.
Benjamin Street, EC1M Benjamin Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Bowlin, EC1R Bowlin is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Bowling Green Lane, EC1R Bowling Green Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Brewhouse Yard, EC1V Brewhouse Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Briset Street, EC1M Briset Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Britton Street, EC1M Britton Street was named after Thomas Britten, a 17th century coalman.
Brownlow Mews, WC1N Brownlow Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Calthorpe Street, WC1X Calthorpe Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Catherine Griffiths Court, EC1R Catherine Griffiths Court is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Charles Rowan House, WC1X Residential block
Clerkenwell Close, EC1R Clerkenwell Close is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Clerkenwell Green, EC1R Clerkenwell Green is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1N Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Clerkenwell Road, EC1R Clerkenwell Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Cockpit Yard, WC1N Cockpit Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Coldbath Square, EC1R Coldbath Square was named after a well of cold water that stood here alone in surrounding fields.
Cornwell House, EC1R Residential block
Corporation Row, EC1R Corporation Row is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Crawford Passage, EC1R Crawford Passage is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Cubitt Street, WC1X Cubitt Street was formerly called Arthur Street.
Doughty Mews, WC1N Doughty Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Doughty Street, WC1N Doughty Street is a broad tree lined street in the Holborn district.
Eagle Court, EC1M Eagle Court is a courtyard situated off of Benjamin Street.
Easton Street, WC1X Easton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Elm Street, WC1X Elm Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Emerald Street, WC1N Emerald Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Exmouth Market, EC1R Exmouth Market, formerly Exmouth Street, is semi-pedestrianised - the location of an outdoor street market.
Eyre St Hill, EC1R Eyre St Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Eyre Street Hill, EC1R Eyre Street Hill is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Farringdon Lane, EC1R Farringdon Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Farringdon Road, EC1M Farringdon Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Finsbury Estate, EC1R Finsbury Estate is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Fleet Square, WC1X Fleet Square is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Frederick Street, WC1X Frederick Street is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Gloucester Way, EC1R Gloucester Way is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Gough Street, WC1X Gough Street is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Granville Square, WC1X Granville Square is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Granville Street, WC1X Granville Street is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Grays Inn Road, WC1X Grays Inn Road is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Grays Inn, WC1X Grays Inn is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Great James Street, WC1N Great James Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Grimthorpe House, EC1V Residential block
Hardwick Street, EC1R Hardwick Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Hatton Place, EC1N Hatton Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Hatton Square, EC1N Hatton Square is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Hatton Wall, EC1N Hatton Wall is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Haywards Place, EC1R Haywards Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Herbal Hill, EC1R This is a street in the EC1R postcode area
Holsworthy Square, WC1X This is a street in the WC1X postcode 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.
Joseph Close, N4 Joseph Close is a road in the N4 postcode area
Joseph Trotter Close, EC1R Joseph Trotter Close is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
King’s Cross Road, WC1X This is a street in the WC1X postcode area
Kings Cross Road, WC1X Kings Cross Road is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Kings Mews, WC1N Kings Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Kingsway Place, EC1R Kingsway Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Kirk Street, WC1N Kirk Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Langton Close, WC1X Langton Close is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Laystall Street, EC1R Laystall Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Lloyd Baker Street, WC1X Lloyd Baker Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Lloyd Square, WC1X Lloyd Square is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Lloyds Row, EC1R Lloyds Row is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Malta Street, EC1V This is a street in the EC1V postcode area
Margery Street, WC1X Margery Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Mecklenburgh Square, WC1N Mecklenburgh Square was originally laid out by S P Cockerell.
Meredith Street, EC1R Meredith Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Millman Street, WC1N Millman Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Mount Pleasant, WC1X Mount Pleasant is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Mount Plesant, WC1X Mount Plesant is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Myddelton Street, EC1R Myddelton Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Naoroji Street, WC1X Naoroji Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
New House, EC1N Residential block
Newington Close, EC1R This is a street in the EC1R postcode area
North Mews, WC1N North Mews is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Northampton Road, EC1R Northampton Road is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Northampton Square, EC1V Northampton Square is a square between Finsbury and Clerkenwell, located between Goswell Road and St John Street.
Northington Street, WC1N Northington Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Pakenham Street, WC1X Pakenham Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Passing Alley, EC1M Passing Alley is a road in the EC1M postcode area
Pear Tree Court, EC1R Pear Tree Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Penny Bank Chambers, EC1M Penny Bank Chambers is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
Percival Street, EC1V Percival Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Phoenix Place, EC3N Phoenix Place is a road in the EC3N postcode area
Phoenix Place, WC1X Phoenix Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Pine Street, EC1R Pine Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Pooles Buildings, EC1R Pooles Buildings is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Portpool Lane, EC1N Portpool Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
Ray Street, EC1R Ray Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Regent Square, WC1N Regent Square is a road in the WC1N postcode area
Richbell Place, WC1N Richbell Place is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Roger Street, WC1N Roger Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Rosebery Avenue, EC1R Rosebery Avenue was opened by the 5th Earl of Rosebery.
Rosebery Court, EC1R Rosebery Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Rosebery House, EC1R Residential block
Rosebery Square, EC1R Rosebery Square is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Rosoman Place, EC1R Rosoman Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Rosoman Street, EC1R Rosoman Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Rugby Chambers, WC1N Rugby Chambers is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Rugby Street, WC1N Rugby Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1N postal area.
Saint Cross Street, EC1N This is a street in the EC1N postcode area
Saint John Street, EC1V This is a street in the EC1V postcode area
Saint John’s Lane, EC1M This is a street in the EC1M postcode area
Sans Walk, EC1R Sans Walk was named after Edward Sans in 1893, who was then the oldest member of the local parish vestry.
Sans Works, EC1R Sans Works is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Scotswood Street, EC1R Scotswood Street is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Sekforde Court, EC1V Sekforde Court is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Sekforde Street, EC1R Sekforde Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Skinner Street, EC1R Skinner Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Spafield Street, EC1R Spafield Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Spencer Street, EC1V Spencer Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
St Cross Street, EC1M St Cross Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St Cross Street, EC1N St Cross Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1N postal area.
St Jamess Walk, EC1R St Jamess Walk is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
St John Street, EC1M St John Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St John Street, EC1V St John Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
St John’s Square, EC1M St John’s Square, south of Clerkenwell Road, is in the EC1M postal area.
St John’s Square, EC1V St John’s Square is split into two sections, north and south of Clerkenwell Road.
St Johns House, EC1V Residential block
St Johns Lane, EC1M St Johns Lane is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St Johns Path, EC1M St Johns Path is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St Johns Place, EC1M St Johns Place is one of the streets of London in the EC1M postal area.
St John’s Gate, EC1M St John’s Gate is a road in the EC1M postcode area
St. Helena Street, WC1X St. Helena Street is a road in the WC1X postcode area
St. John Street, EC1R St. John Street is a road in the EC1R postcode area
Summers Street, EC1R Summers Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
The Horseshoe Path, EC1R The Horseshoe Path runs around the back of the Horseshoe pub.
Tompion Street, EC1V Tompion Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Topham Street, EC1R Topham Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Turnmill Street, EC1 Turnmill Street appears in the works of Shakespeare.
Tysoe Street, EC1R Tysoe Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Vine Hill, EC1R Vine Hill now displays no evidence on the vines that once flourished in the grounds on which it stands.
Warner Street, EC1R Warner Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Warner Yard, EC1R Warner Yard is one of the streets of London in the EC1R postal area.
Wells Square, WC1X Wells Square is a road in the WC1X postcode area
Wharton Street, WC1X Wharton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Wilmington Square, WC1X Wilmington Square is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.
Woodbridge Street, EC1R Woodbridge Street 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.
Wyclif Street, EC1V Wyclif Street is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Wynyatt St, EC1V Wynyatt St is a road in the EC1V postcode area
Wynyatt Street, EC1V Wynyatt Street is one of the streets of London in the EC1V postal area.
Yardley Street, WC1X Yardley Street is one of the streets of London in the WC1X postal area.


Clerkenwell

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.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Doughty Street, WC1N
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Sans Walk, Clerkenwell
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