Open House Festival

Calamity and civility: contrasts in Clerkenwell



Charterhouse Square (outside Charterhouse), EC1M 6AN

Tranquil Clerkenwell, so close to the bustling City has a distinct character and intriguing history. Once centred around great religious houses, the area has been the scene of fierce rebellion, innovative architecture, and major commerce.

Getting there


Farringdon, Barbican



Additional travel info

End: West Smithfield EC1A 9HY The following bus routes operate close to the start point: 153 from Moorgate to Silk Street; 341 from Waterloo to Snow Hill; 63 from Kings Cross St Pancras to Clerkenwell Road. Buses running close to the end point: 8 from Montague Street to Liverpool Street; 59 from Giltspur Street to Waterloo; 46 from St Bart's Hospital to Kings Cross St Pancras.





The tranquility of Clerkenwell belies its tumultuous history.
From burial site of many thousands of Black Death victims, to a collection of great religious houses swept away by Henry VIII, the area has known the clamour of commerce as people and beasts from all over the kingdom converged on Smithfield, and been witness to murder, plunder, and vicious execution.

Golden Key Academy

This tour is led by an alumnus of Open City’s Golden Key Academy – a course training up insightful and engaging guides dedicated to explaining London and bringing its many stories to life. It is part of a wider collection of tour events created by Golden Key Academy guides for the Open House Festival celebrating their conclusion of the eight month course.

Further information on the Golden Key Academy can be found here


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