Clerkenwell was an ancient parish in central London
from the mediaeval period onwards. Despite pressures to
demolish and 'modernise' buildings, traces of historic lettering can
still be found.
The former Hugh Myddelton School, Sans
photographs courtesy David Gaylard
'SCHOOLKEEPER' AND ''SPECIAL GIRLS' sign from a redundant
entrance to the Hugh Myddelton School in Clerkenwell (T. J. Bailey,
History Online has a fascinating page on the area and the Hugh
Myddelton School, Sans Walk. It shows maps, illustrations and
photographs including, in Clerkenwell Close a fine 'NEEDLEWORK DEPT.'
pediment from the
former London School Board stores. 'Stationery Dept.' can also be found
on A London inheritance blog. And
wat about the meaning of 'Special Girls' for the pupils of the
The building is Listed
Grade II, the description reading: 'Former Special Girls annexe of
Hugh Myddelton Schools. 1902 (on the evidence of inscriptions on the
nearby gate in the school wall). Yellow brick with dressings of red
brick, stucco and render, tiled roof. Flat-arched entrance with
decorative stone architrave in wing to north; all windows flat-arched
with gauged brick heads and red brick dressings; the main building
under a two-span roof and presumably originally a balanced composition
to the school yard of three bays, each consisting of a tall window
partly in a full dormer, a lower window under the eaves, and a stack
below the ridge; extension at north end with a flat-roof; the elevation
to Woodbridge Road similar but of two bays only. This building is one
of those provided by the London School Board from 1892 onwards for
children with learning difficulties; discipline and teaching methods
were more relaxed and liberal than in the main Board Schools.' We
deduce that 'Special' refers to 'special needs', as we might say today.
Sir Hugh Myddelton (1560-1631) is best remembered as
the driving force behind the construction of the New River, an
ambitious engineering project to bring clean water from the River Lea,
near Ware, in Hertfordshire to New River Head in Clerkenwell, London.
In Clerkenwell, not far from the original southern end of the New
River, Myddelton Square takes its name from him, as do Myddelton
Passage and Myddleton Street. Institutions nearby (some closed) that
are named after him include Hugh Myddelton Primary School in Myddelton
Street; the Myddelton Wing of the LSE Rosebery Hall of Residence, also
on Myddelton Street; Hugh Myddelton Secondary school (which closed in
the mid 1960s in Sans Walk, Islington); and Myddelton House on
Pentonville Road, central office of Citizens Advice.
Former dairy on the corner of
River Street and Amwell Street
'Dairy Farmers ...  ... LLOYD
& SON ...  ... High Class Dairy Produce'
The curving portico supported by faux Doric pillars is
most pleasing. The Lloyd’s dairy business opened in 1905 and probably
closed in the early 1990s. The signs have been preserved and the
business was BHC Hair in 2014. Another page on the fine
blog A London inheritance has much
more about this shop and location. This includes: 'River Street was
named after the New River and Amwell Street after Amwell in
Hertfordshire through which the New River ran, and where some of the
springs that fed the river were located.'
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