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Monday, 4 April 2022

A GUIDED TOUR OF SPITALFIELDS ..........


Last week, we went on a guided tour of some of Spitalfields  ..... an area { for those who are not familiar with London } of the East End of London. The name derives from St Mary Spital, a Priory/hospital { a lodging for travellers run by a religious order } on the east side of Bishopsgate. The area was covered with fields and nursery gardens until late in the 17th century when streets were laid out for Irish and Huguenot silk weavers.

As you exit Liverpool Street station, the modern buildings tower above you, interspersed with the old. 


This was John, our tour guide. I wouldn't say he was the most informative but a nice guy.



First stop, Devonshire Square, Bishopsgate. The statue of the knight represents on of the 13 nobles, { the Cnihtengild } who were granted land around Bishopsgate in the 10th century. 



Coffee ?



I took this photograph in Devonshire Square as The Gerkin was reflected in the windows but, looking all around, you couldn't see The Gerkin anywhere ..... it was weird !



This is the oldest London shopfront, built in 1756.



The Jewish soup kitchen, Brune Street ..... an institution deeply embedded in the community. It was founded in 1854 to supply soup, bread and meat twice a week to poor members of the Jewish community. It closed in 1992 serving soup to the poor up until that date. 



Christ Church ..... An Anglican church, built by Nicholas Hawksmoor in 1714 mostly for the Huguenots who dominated the area.







I love these shuttered houses .... when they were built in the 17th century, they were aimed towards working Londoners and migrants, particularly the Huguenots who had been fleeing religious persecution in France in the 1680's. Now, they sell for millions !



This sundial in Brick Lane dates from 1743. It was built as a chapel and has been many things over the years and is now a Mosque. ' Umbra Sumus ' which translates to ' We are Shadows'.




Finally { I can hear you all breathe a sigh of relief !!! } my favourite house. No. 4 Princelet Street. I love the shabby, pink facade and shutters. It isn't a home anymore but is rented out for events and a filming location. I've seen it in many period dramas. 
There is so much more in Spitalfields, including Dennis Severs house which I have been to many times and one of my favourite places to visit and I have posted about it before but, it would make too long a post to talk about all of Spitalfields. Oh, and Tracey Emin lived in Spitalfields and only recently moved away ..... just to give you an idea of how much the houses go for, she sold hers for £12 million !



Hope this post wasn't too long and you haven't nodded off !!!


XXXX
























Jackie

37 comments:

  1. It's a fascinating part of old London. Super photos, Jackie xxx

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    1. I love Spitalfields JayCee ….. so much history wherever you look ! XXXX

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  2. I also like your photos Jackie. These walking tours are great aren't they? I joined all the ones on offer in my home city when I first stopped working. I also found some of the guides had gaps in knowledge but I was on hand to help out! I would love to go on this East End one. Thank you xxx

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    1. The walking tours are brilliant. Our guide John had knowledge but some was a bit boring ! I felt he could have found more interesting stuff but he wasn’t bad on the whole ! I think you would love the Spitalfields tour and there are plenty to choose from.XXXX

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  3. Beautiful photos of old London places. Guess I'll never be a property owner there! I hear who is purchasing and they are just left vacant, unless their student kids need a place to hang out in. London now has the least number of houses available of any major city in the world!
    Nice story of your tour of the area - enjoyed it all dear Jackie.

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    1. I don’t think any of us could afford property in Spitalfields Mary although, I did look in an Estate Agents window and there was a teeny tiny cottage for around £500,000 ! Hope you are both well Mary. XXXX

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  4. The craftsmanship in very old buildings is amazing. The brick work and shutters are unlike anything we see being built today. I enjoyed the photos and your tour of Spitalfields. When I read "guided tour" at first I thought it was going to be a tour of your new kitchen and solarium. You must be well underway.

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    1. I love old houses and have always lived in them Susan. I love hearing the history too.
      You have a very good memory re our new Orangery and kitchen but, it won’t start until August but, I am getting ready by clearing lots of things out. I will keep you updated with it when it begins. XXXX

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  5. I suppose you like Peter Ackroyd?

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    1. I could say ‘ Yes ‘ but, I’m not that familiar with his work. I see that he wrote about Hawksmoor and I like what he said that fascinated him about London …. That he admired “ it’s power, it’s majesty, it’s darkness, it’s shadows.” Do you recommend his writing ? XXXX

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    2. Well I recommend his subject matter. I can't stand it when someone tries to reproduce the 18th century way of speaking and gets it wrong.

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    3. I will investigate his work ! XXXX

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  6. An outing in London!! I just had to google your magnificent knight! He's also called King Edgar. I do love him so, dear Jackie. I'm totally jealous of your tour, and a more sparkling guide would have had me booking a flight straight away, hahah!

    Every time I think about coming to London, Dennis Severs' House is right at the top of the list ... I still haven't seen it but luckily it's frozen in time. I used to live in Whitechapel when I first lived in London and my radar was always tuned to Gilbert & George whenever I was roaming about but never saw them, either. xx

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    1. We live only twenty minutes from London Pip so visits are a regular thing.
      I love Dennis Severs house ….. my sister was lucky enough to be taken round by Dennis Severs himself before he died.
      When I wrote that Tracy Emin lived in Spitalfields I was about to mention Gilbert and George but thought it could snowball into all the people who lived there !!!!!
      Our son and daughter-in-law lived in an old brewery next to The Blind Beggar in Whitechapel for about a year. XXXX

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  7. When I worked in The City, you could have bought the whole of Spitalfields for 4d. I dread to think what you'd have to pay for a restored slum these day; especially a Georgian one!

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  8. I know Cro …. how things change…. like Hackney. Notting Hill was a really bad area too, now look at it ! XXXX

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  9. I LOVED THIS POST!
    I CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THE OLD BUILDINGS!
    THANK YOU FOR TAKING US ON THIS WONDERFUL TOUR!
    I NEED TO GET BACK TO YOUR BIG CITY!
    XXX

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    1. Ahwwww, thanks Elizabeth. When I do these posts I always think people will be bored ! It is a lovely area of London and worth a visit especially with a guide as they tell you so much that you didn’t know. XXXX

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  10. The history is breathtaking- Here as soon as something turns 40 or more- it is torn down and replaced. There are still a few old neighborhoods but here old means from the 50's-60's. Some neighborhoods are preserved- others are derelict.

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    1. I do love a bit of history Z and London is full of it. …. And, don’t sell the US short …. Sorting out our photographs, I have many of The Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, the Appalachian Trail etc etc ! XXXX

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  11. Wowww wowww I love your beautiful post Londen is on my to do list I hope some day visit it 🍀🙏🍀

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    1. I think you will love it Ria ….. I know I’m biased but I think it’s the best city in the world 🌎 💕 XXXX

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  12. My paternal grandparents lived nearby and I suspect they depended on that soup kitchen that you showed! Of the 14 babies born, 10 survived and shared a 2 bedroom flat with an outside toilet.

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    1. Hi Hels…… that soup kitchen must have been a godsend for so many…. &, I was shocked that it was still needed in 1992 ! Your paternal grandparents & many others must have been so grateful that it was there …. I think there were quite a few soup kitchens in the area ….. and, the guide was telling us about the large number of people sharing in such small flats ….. it’s hard for us to imagine. XXXX

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  13. I love Spitalfields, Jackie! I have been there twice or thrice, and have visited twice Dennis Severs house (it was a tip by Tom). Houses are so expensive nowadays - and though those above do look lovely, I wouldn't pay (if I had them :-) millions for them, sorry. XXXX

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    1. I love it too Britta. I’ve been so many times as it’s only a twenty minute train ride. I love Dennis Severs house ….. I have been many times …. Christmas is especially lovely as the house is all dressed for Christmas. My sister was lucky enough to be taken round by Dennis Severs himself before he died. I would pay millions for one of those houses if I had billions ….. it would be a lovely pied-de-terre !!! XXXX

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  14. Great post I must say and thanks for the information. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.
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  15. Hi Jackie - is that you dear who left me a comment on Easter Sunday saying you were only able to comment as Anonymous? If so that's strange - I've not changed any of my settings. Pease let me know.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Hi Mary ….. yes ….. it was me ! Not sure why I’m anonymous ! I did it on my phone so, next time, I’ll comment on my laptop and see if that’s better. My phone doesn’t like Blogger and I often have difficulties. It was asking if I wanted to comment as anonymous/ Google or URL which I’ve never seen before. It’s probably me so don’t worry 💕 XXXX

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    2. You should have chosen Google, Jackie. I am surprised you have never seen it before. Google would have given you your usual identity. Excuse me for interrupting but I thought I would try to be useful! Xx

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    3. Thanks Rachel but, I did that and it just kept going back to the home page …. Always interrupt with help Rachel … it’s always helpful. At the moment, I seem to be signed in with Google but it’s not showing my photo…. I remember this happening before. XXXX

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