St James Church

St James Church

Home to the memorial for victims of a Fenian bomb

Location: Clerkenwell Close

Description: St James Church was designed in 1792 by the architect James Carr. It Replaced the former St Marys Nunnery church.

Inside are two tragic memorials - the Protestant Martyrs Memorial and the memorial to the victims of a Fenian bomb. The latter memorial lists six people including children who died when the Irish revolutionaries exploded a bomb outside the nearby House of Detention prison where their colleague, Michael Barratt, was being held. Barratt was later hanged at Newgate in 1867. This was the last public hanging in England.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Clerkenwell was known for its clockmakers. As it was possible to see the Greenwich Observatory form the top of the church tower, clockmakers would climb up to set the time by the red ball which drops at the Observatory each day at 1pm GMT.

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St James Church

Home to the memorial for victims of a Fenian bomb

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There were still a great many clock and watch repair shops in the area until the late 1990s. Even now there are still a few left around Clerkenwell Road/St John Street. (Murray)
Posted by Murray on 2011-05-10

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