Tuesday, July 29, 2014

sheep may safely

The last time that I was properly in Clerkenwell was about thirty five years ago, when I was walking round taking photographs of locations that George Gissing wrote about in The Nether World - and there was a sufficiency of Victorian buildings, and little workshops, and closed shops, to make one think that one was, indeed, still back in the late C19th.  Now, the Farringdon Street Buildings - the new "model housing" that Gissing derided for being inhumanly bleak - have been demolished - the Survey of London says in 1976, so either I got there a split second before they came down (possible); or I made a misidentification - though I certainly did return to the site in the 80s, and it was gone …

However, I remember Clerkenwell Green as grimy, not as being full of little design stores.  And I don't remember St James's at all - a very endearing Georgian church on the outside, though it too has been built on the site of an earlier church (well, several, including a nunnery), most especially the church in which Pocahontas married Thomas Rolfe.  Inside, though, it's less compelling, apart from some goo Victorian stained glass.

And post-Victorian - this sheepy much have been one of the last to be produced by William Morris & Co (they folded in 1940; this, I think, was 1938).  Then I was fooled by the window below: I thought it looked like a Burne-Jones, but it's actually by George Wooloscroft Rhea.  

It's a real bonus, when I discover places in London that are new to me, or have been made new ...

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