It was a great pleasure to be joined by my first six customers on our walk around Clerkenwell on Saturday 25th August. During the walk, which is entitled “Radicals, Religion and Rivers”, we explored the fascinating history of the area, stretching back 1000 years. It felt like the weather was putting on its very own radical display in our honour, as we encountered thunder, lightning and torrential rain. However with some umbrellas and the judicious use of overhanging buildings and the wonderful London Plane trees we were able to beat the weather and undertake this discovery of this historically rich quarter just outside the City of London.
The walk uncovers the secret of the name Clerkenwell (which was particularly apt for a bank holiday), how fresh water and rivers were fundamental to the establishment of three ancient and important religious institutions together with a canter through some of the radical characters and events associated with the area, which include the Peasants Revolt, May Day marches and the publication of a radical Russian counter-establishment newspaper under the personal supervision of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. We also cover some important literary associations, passing the spot where Mr Brownlow was pickpocketed in Oliver Twist and find out the self-confessed mischief Samuel Pepys got up to in St James’ church.
For more details and the details of some other organised walks, please click here for more information on this and other walks brought to you by members of the Clerkenwell and Islington Guides Association.