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IN THE NEWS

Westfield Stratford City East
Westfield Stratford City East Retail Theme

TOUR OF THE MONTH

Carry On in London Tour
Carry On in London Tour

ON THIS DAY IN LONDON

11th December 1974 TV Presenter Ben Shephard was born in London.

11th December 1941 Dutch government in London declares war on Italy

11th December 1936 King Edward VIII abdicated from the British throne to marry Wallis Simpson.go to related location

11th December 1930 Eccentric violinist Leonard Friedman was born in London.

A Garden with a Gruesome Past



A Garden with a Gruesome Past

A place of public hangings and statues with added fertility

Location: West Smithfield Garden, EC1

Description: In the Middle Ages this was a plain, grassy space just outside the city walls, known as Smooth Field, where fine horses were sold. A cattle market was established in 1638 and remained until 1855, when it was moved to Islington.

Smithfield was a place of public execution for over 400 years. Here heretics, rebels and criminals were burnt, beheaded or boiled. In 1305 Scottish hero William Wallace was hanged, drawn and quartered after being dragged there behind a horse. In 1381 Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants' Revolt, gathered his army there and was stabbed by the Mayor of London. The injured Tyler was taken to the hospital at St Bartholomew's Church - but dragged out again and beheaded.

The gallows were moved to Tyburn in the 15th century but Smithfield was also used for the executions of religious martyrs. These reached a peak when more than 200 Protestants were burnt at the stake during Queen Mary's reign in the 1550s.

Today the area is a peaceful, hidden corner of London - but one with a terrible past.

Plus, the statue of the young woman has a wedding band soldered to her finger - and why - well the Superintendent at the time could not find the owner and thus created a point in history by placing it here... she's also represented fertility since 1873.

Tagged in this Tour: Rebels, Radicals & Rough Justice

Themes: Public AmenitiesPublic Amenities Theme  SculptureSculpture Theme  HistoricalHistorical Theme
Ranking This Month: 1555/2786
Pages Hit This Month: 26
Link to This Page: http://www.shadyoldlady.com/location/1300
Credits: http://www.opensquares.org/detail/index.html?../detail/West%20Sm.html

A Garden with a Gruesome Past

A place of public hangings and statues with added fertility


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