Just a stone’s throw from the city, Clerkenwell, with its buzzing night scene, excellent restaurants and eclectic mix of architecture, has rapidly become one of the hippest and most desirable areas of East London to live.
Dating back to medieval times, Clerkenwell provided the site for the Bishop of Ely’s palace, welcoming such distinguished guests as King Henry the VII and Queen Elizabeth I. Despite falling into disrepair, the grounds still stand today as St Etheldreda’s Church– the oldest Catholic Church in England. From the 17th century the neighbourhood welcomed a number of notable residents - Oliver Cromwell moved into Clerkenwell Green, followed later by Karl Marx, whose presence remains thanks to the Marx Memorial Library.
Today, the area is chiefly residential but once boasted a plethora of trades, including jewellers, furniture makers, clock and watch-makers and a huge printing industry. Some of these still remain but the majority have now been converted into plush apartments and new builds created for the array of advertising agencies, publicists and recording studios that have flocked here.
Clerkenwell Green, despite actually having no grass, remains the local hub of the old village and has maintained an impressive sense of history, with the former courthouse and church overlooking it. Nearby stands one of the oldest markets in London, the newly refurbished Smithfield meat market, which sets the guidelines for meat and poultry prices throughout the UK.
Clerkenwell’s thriving night scene ensures its inhabitants both work and play hard. Particularly popular is one of London’s largest nightclubs, Fabric, and the surrounding bars on the busy Charterhouse Street which attracts throngs of young, hip party-goers night after night. The area is home to some fantastic traditional London pubs such as the Fox and Anchor, and also lays claim to London’s first gastropub, The Eagle. For foodies, the internationally acclaimed St John restaurant is close by, offering a traditional British menu, with other favourites including Cafe du Marche, Hix Oyster and Chop House.
Thanks to its eclectic mix of warehouses, period properties, converted office buildings and modern apartment blocks, there is no shortage of desirable properties in the area, and property prices reflect this. Combined with its superb location for both living and working, Clerkenwell is now a thriving area for young, affluent Londoners to live, work and play.
Clerkenwell’s main station is Farringdon, and Angel, Kings Cross St Pancreas and Chancery Lane are also nearby.