Today Smithfield is a distinctive part of the City of London, tucked away behind St Paul's Cathedral, it has managed to retain its village atmosphere. This part of the City has no major financial institutions, instead at its centre there is an attractive small, circular park which is surrounded by Smithfield Meat Market, St Bartholomew’s Hospital (known as Barts) and a couple of delightful churches.
When the Romans built their City Wall, in about 200AD, Smithfield was outside of the City’s boundaries and therefore outside its jurisdiction. During the Middle Ages it was a gruesome place where public executions where held. The executions involved a variety of methods including burnings and beheadings.
St Bartholomew the Great
There are two churches dedicated to St Bartholomew. St Bartholomew the Great, the largest, has featured in many films. The smaller church St Bartholomew the Less is situated in the grounds of Barts Hospital and has memorials to its medical staff.
Things to look out for
Restored Victorian Meat Market designed by Horace Jones
Plaques and memorials commemorating those who were executed in the area
The statue which commemorates where the Great Fire of London of 1666 ended
To explore the area further book a Sinister Smithfield walk.
If you enjoyed this you might like reading my other blogs about The City of London.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.