The Clerks' Well

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Well Court, London, United Kingdom

The Clerks' Well London Reviews

AdamR3723 AdamR3723
192 reviews
What is in a name? Sep 08, 2017
You may well wonder what is in or behind a name. In this case, let us consider ‘Clerkenwell’, which was once a very impoverished area at the northern edge of the city of London, but is now a very prosperous, trendy area well within the metropolis just beyond the northern edge of The City, the historic heart of London.

The name in question relates to a well, which used to supply drinking water. ‘Clerkenwell’ is derived from the Old English words meaning ‘Clerks’ Well’. Remains of the well may be seen inside Well Court on Farringdon Lane, which I visited today.

It is possible to see the remains of the well through the windows that face the street, and that is how I viewed it. By applying to the Islington Museum in St Johns Street, you can be given a guided tour, but I doubt that you would see much more than can be seen through the windows.

A sign on the granite exterior of Well Court reads “Clerks’ Well”. Through the windows, you can see what looks like a big toilet. It is a circular well lined with bricks. There is also a section of old piping. This was used to carry water from the well. Behind the well, there is brick facing that covers the mediaeval wall of the former St Mary’s Nunnery. Above it, there is a commemorative plaque that used to be located above a pump, which was formerly be located in the street near the well. The notice informs us that the water that supplied the well was “greatly esteemed by the Prior and Bretheren of the Order of Jerusalem and the Benedictine Nuns in the Neighbourhood”. These religious establishments were closed by King Henry VIII in the 16th century, but the well continued to be used afterwards.

In the mid-19th century, the well became polluted, and to prevent the spread of cholera it was filled in, and built over. In 1924, it was rediscovered during building works on Farringdon Lane. In 1984, the current viewing gallery was added, and it is here that guided tours are taken.
9 / 9 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
vicIII says:
Hello, Adam! You are good at presenting the hidden gems of London I must say...Thanks a lot!
Posted on: Sep 29, 2017
Airpunk says:
Congratulations on the review being featured. I really love to see some of the lesser known places in London getting attention.
Posted on: Sep 18, 2017
starship1 says:
Congratulations on having this interesting review featured today!
Posted on: Sep 18, 2017
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