A district in inner London
, just north of the City. It has Islington
to the north, Shoreditch
to the east, and Bloomsbury
to the west.
As the name suggests, it is associated with a well and some clerks. The old mediaeval well is still visible, preserved in a building with a little window looking onto it from the street. There is also a priory of the Knights Hospitaller of St John, what looks like a modern fake castellated mediaeval building, but which in fact dates from the reign of Henry VIII: which makes it a modern fake, compared to real mediaeval priories.
In the south of Clerkenwell is the Smithfield Meat Market, the site of Bartholomew Fair, and the place where William Wallace was executed. The church of St James has monuments to the Smithfield martyrs, executed in the reign of Mary I.
In the north we have the Sadler's Wells Theatre, the original home of English ballet. The New River, the first canal in England, arrived here from the countryside in the north, and even today the Water Board maintain land here. (Or did: I am rather afraid they might have just turned their headquarters into luxury flats.)
Clerkenwell is centred around a now non-existent bit of green called Clerkenwell Green.