All text copyright Stephen Coates 2006 - 2015


Clerkenwell get its name from a spring (one of many in the area on either side of what was the valley of the lost river Fleet). The spring formed a well which was regarded as sacred - or at least efficacious for good health.  It became the site of an annual pilgrimage of clerks from the old walled city of London who would perform mystery plays there.

Now it looks like a large quite nice loo.  I visited the other week - for old times sake. It is nice that it is still there - albeit in the corner of a very ordinary building

Here's a secret - if you ring Finsbury library, they have a key and will arrange access by appointment - you may even be met there by a very pleasant and learned historian.  
I believe the water retains some of its old, fabled properties but drinking it is not recommended for mortals.


spillyjane said...

It always seems that the most ordinary of buildings hide the best secrets. It's wonderful that the well is relatively accessible -- I can only imagine the sense of age and mystery that one must feel in its presence.

clerkenwell kid said...

Actually Jane, it feels strangely timeless.

But it cured my existential pain - for an hour or so at least

spillyjane said...

An hour of peace is something, at least.

Anonymous said...

I love it how in these modern times, there are still some old landmarks left. It gives the city it's own personality.

And if I may ask, Is there a New "the Real Tuesday Weld" album coming out? I just love your music.

clerkenwell kid said...

Dear Anon

Like London buses you wait ages for one and then two turn up at once..

TRTW have mainly been working on film music for the last while but there are a couple in preparation at the moment..

They should emerge towards the end of the year we hope

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the answer and I can't wait for the new record!

By the way, You should definitely put on a show in Sweden sometime, I would be first in line to se it.

Richard said...

I originally came here for the musical connection but love the London info. I intend to track down various places mentioned very soon..

Delighted to hear "Bathtime in Clerkenwell" on the BBC Chelsea Flower show, only a brief snippet but enough to get the toes-a-waggling! Did you know it was played?

clerkenwell kid said...

Richard - I did hear a rumour - I am always happy to help propagate growth..

Glad you have been enjoying too