Monks, Meat and Media

This walk starts among the extraordinary buildings of the Charterhouse, originally home to the ascetic Carthusian monks, who were walled up alive in their cells when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

We then proceed to Smithfield, an area unrivalled in the richness of its history, traditions and architecture. Now internationally renowned in the meat trade, once a market where men brought not only livestock but also wives to sell.

On to the Central Criminal Courts (the “Old Bailey”), built on the site of the notorious Newgate Prison. Those prisoners who had not committed one of the hundreds of crimes which carried the death penalty were sent to Newgate after a trial which typically lasted fifteen minutes. The inmates – many of them young children – were kept in horrendous conditions. 

On a lighter note we finish with a stroll along Fleet Street and its alleyways, an area bursting with tales of the colourful characters and events associated with the British newspaper industry.

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