This Week In London’s History
Random London Fact Of The Week
There is a small cul-de-sac just north of Holborn Circus, with a curious history. Ely Place may be spatially located in the middle of EC1, but at least until recently it was technically a part of Cambridgeshire. This all dates back to somewhere around the 13th century, when the Bishops of Ely had a residence there (Ely House).
The bishops’ private chapel now goes by the name of St. Etheldreda’s Church, whose gardens were once renowned for their strawberries – so much so that Shakespeare mentions them in Richard III:
GLOUCESTER: My lord of Ely!
BISHOP OF ELY: My lord?
GLOUCESTER: When I was last in Holborn, I saw good strawberries in your garden there. I do beseech you send for some of them.
BISHOP OF ELY: Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.
Up until 1939 the gates at the south of the road would be shut every night at 10pm, and night watchmen would parade around calling out the hours (and sometimes the weather) until 6am. We would speculate that this must have been quite annoying for the residents. This practice ceased upon the outbreak of the Second World War, and never resumed.
(We have mentioned Ely Place once before. But it was way back in the summer of 2005, and only Londonist’s resident history geek has a memory that goes back that far…)
London’s Weather This Week
It looks like the temperatures are going to fluctuate somewhat unpredictably between ‘quite cold’ and ‘very cold’ this week, so be prepared. It’s also likely to rain from time to time, although the heaviest showers might just about hold off until the weekend. Maybe.
Picture taken from Dreadnought & jb’s Flickr photostream under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 licence.