Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Old bailey to the Barbican

On the way to a meeting I walked past the Old Bailey…

… St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate is across the road on the corner of Holburn Viaduct and Giltspur Street. It was badly damaged in the Great Fire of 1666. The burnt out shell was rebuilt by Wren’s masons in 1670-71 and is now the largest church in the city of London. It is famous for the twelve “Bells of Old Bailey” in the rhyme “Oranges and Lemons”. St Sepulchre’s church is also dedicated as the National Musicians’ Church (When Sir Henry Wood - Promenade Concerts - died in 1944, his ashes were laid to rest in the chapel).

Walking down Giltspur Steet you come across the ‘Golden Boy of Pye Corner’ a life-size gold statue of a small boy, which marks the furthest extent of the Great Fire of 1666. Adhering to the notion that greed and intemperance brought about the Great Fire as a punishment from God, the Golden Boy was erected with the following inscription:

This Boy is in Memmory Put up for the late FIRE of LONDON Occasion’d by the Sin of Gluttony.

Originally, it was affixed to the front of a public house called The Fortune of War; this was demolished in 1910, but the Golden Boy still remains.

Heading up towards Smithfield Market, the gatehouse to Saint Bartholomew the Great Church stood out. A plaque says it was restored in 1932.

Saint Bartholomew the Great was founded in 1123 as an Augustinian Priory and has been in continuous use as a place of worship since at least 1143.

Smithfield Market - A Grade II listed building dating back to 1868 although a market has been here for over 800 years. It is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK.

….and finally, after some wonderful buildings comes the Barbican. I am not a fan!

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