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The area behind St Bartholomew’s church, untouched by the Great Fire of 1666, gives us an idea of how London must have looked then, with narrow alleyways and houses whose first floors almost touch.

Tube: Barbican/St Paul’s

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Smithfield 1 2

King Henry VIII

St Bartholomew's Hospital was part of a priory but, when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s, Barts was spared. The king’s gesture is marked by this likeness of him over one of the hospital gates: it is the only outdoor statue of him in London. The gatehouse itself dates to 1702.

West Smithfield EC1

St Bartholomew Hospital

St Bartholomew's Hospital is the oldest of London's

hospitals to stand on its original site. Founded in 1123 by Rahere, a courtier of Henry I, after being cured of the malaria he caught on a pilgrimage to Rome. The only medieval part remaining  is the tower of the Church of St Bartholomew the Less.

West Smithfield EC1

Smithfield Market

A Victorian grade II listed building, built in 1868, Smithfield - officially London Central Markets -  has been refurbished and is the most modern meat market in Europe. Meat has been sold here for at least 800 years. The market was built on top of a railway line - now an underground car-park.

West Smithfield EC1

William Wallace Memorial

As gruesomely shown by Mel Gibson in 'Braveheart', this is the spot where Sir William Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered in 1305. He led the Scots in rebellion against  King Edward I of England and, when betrayed and charged with treason, famously said: ‘I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.’

West Smithfield EC1

False Window

In this tiny alleyway – one of the many in this area – in a house where Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman lived. This false window, depicting a ‘Sailor’s Home Coming’, was put here by a firm of architects who decided the wall needed a window, but only after they had bricked an existing one up.

Cloth Fair EC1

St Bartholomew the Great

Reputedly haunted, London’s oldest parish church - and the most complete Norman one - dates back to 1123. The medieval baptismal font is unique and the Tudor details are familiar from several films. This is where Hugh Grant left his bride at the altar in ‘Four Weddings...’

Little Britain EC1
www.greatstbarts.com

St Bartholomew the Less

The official church of St Bart’s Hospital was rebuilt in 1825 and restored after WWII bombing but the tower and two of its bells date to the C15th. The hospital is unique in being a parish in its own right; the patients and staff are the parishioners, with attendance every Sunday once compulsory.

Giltspur Street EC3

Zeppelin Bomb Damage

On 8 September 1915, a German Zeppelin raid hit the area and this damage on the wall of St Barts Hospital dates to that and another air-raid in 1917. One benefit was the discovery over the gateway to St Bartholomew the Great of a half-timbered house from the time of Elizabeth I. Its plaster covering was dislodged by the bombing.

West Smithfield EC1

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