Newgate Prison. Old Bailey. London Walking Tours. Sightseeing in London.
Continue along Giltspur Street, passing on the right immediately past the iron gates, an 18th century watch-house built to guard the freshly buried bodies in the churchyard beyond the gates from the nefarious activities of the body snatchers.
Continue to the corner and turn right to admire the:
Church of the Holy Sepulchre Without Newgate. Founded in the year 1137 just outside the City of London’s New gate, the church was a departure point for knights setting off for the crusades. It is named for the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem, the ultimate destination of the Crusaders. The present building dates from 1450, and it is the bells of this church that appear in the rhyme @oranges and Lemons’ as the bells of Old Bailey that wonder “when will you pay me.” If open the church is well worth a visit.
Turn left out of the church and cross to the opposite corner of Giltspur Street to admire:
The Viaduct Tavern, which dates from 1875 (not 1869 as is claimed inside). It is the City’s only surviving Victorian Gin Palace and has a wonderfully ornate interior that includes a beaten copper ceiling and a series of paintings on canvas with depictions of representations of the commerce and business of the city around. The claim that the pubs cellars are the old cells of Newgate Prison (which used to stand on the opposite side of the road) should be taken with a large pinch of salt as they are in fact a combination of Coal cellars and wine vaults!
On the opposite side of the road is the looming bulk of the Central Criminal Courts, or as they are better known throughout the world Old Bailey (Old Bailey is in fact the name of the street in front of them.) The building dates from the early 20th century and was built on the site of Newgate Prison. You might like to end your tour with a visit to one of the criminal trials that are held here, but be warned that cameras are not allowed inside the courts.
Exit the Viaduct Tavern and bear left along Newgate Street. Cross to its right side and keep walking until you arrive at St Paul’s Underground Station where the tour ends.