London's 'oldest tavern' threatened with demolition – archive, 18 February 1911

18 February 1911: Surveyors are already busy taking measurements for a new thoroughfare that could threaten Cloth Fair’s Dick Whittington Less than twenty years ago the Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great, Smithfield, was partly occupied as a fringe factory, and in another corner was a blacksmith’s forge. St Bartholomew’s Close, which includes part of Cloth Fair, reflected the fallen state of the church, its ancient houses being mainly given up to poverty and shabby shops. The Earl of Warwick’s house, which still bears the Warwick arms, is let out in single apartments. In the past decade affairs have improved a little in the Close, and many of the picturesque little features of the maze of courts and alleys are brightened with new paint, and flowers struggle up in window boxes and in tiny gardens fenced with green palings in the small stone-paved blind alleys. Related: No more rounds at the pub: from the archive, 12 October 1915 Continue reading...

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