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Viewing category "London's Hidden Secrets Volume 2"

Clockmakers’ Museum & Library

Posted on: 28th Apr 2014

Address: Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, EC2V 7HH (020-7332 1868,

Opening hours: Mons to Sats, 9.30am to 4.45pm. Closed on Suns, Bank Holidays and the Sats before Bank Holiday Mons.

Cost: Free.

Transport: Bank, Moorgate or St Paul’s tube station.

The Clockmaker’s Museum (of the Clockmakers’ Company) – situated in the 15th-century Guildhall – is the oldest collection specifically of clocks, watches and sundials in the world, and one of the finest. It’s displayed in a single room containing at any one time some 600 English and European watches, 30 clocks and 15 marine timekeepers, together with a number of rare horological portraits. The majority of items date from between 1600 and 1850.

            Perhaps the most important group within the collection is the marine timekeepers, illustrating the importance of horology in the science of navigation. Marine timekeepers – such as the celebrated 5th marine timekeeper (shown opposite) made by John Harrison in 1770 – enabled...

Cross Bones Graveyard

Posted on: 28th Apr 2014

Address: Redcross Way, Southwark, SE1 1YJ (

Opening hours: No access to the actual burial ground, which is private land, but the gates are accessible and have become a shrine.

Cost: Free.

Transport: Borough tube station.

Cross Bones is a disused, post-medieval burial ground in Southwark. It’s believed to have been an unconsecrated graveyard for ‘single women’ – a euphemism for prostitutes – known locally as ‘Winchester Geese’, because they were licensed by the Bishop of Winchester to work within the ‘Liberty of the Clink in’ Southwark.

The ‘Clink’ lay outside the jurisdiction of the City’s walls and became notorious for its brothels and theatres, as well as bull- and bear-baiting – activities that were prohibited within the City itself.

             The age of the graveyard is unknown, but John Stow (1525-1605) wrote about it in A Survey of London in 1598, calling it the ‘single woman's churchyard’. By 1769 it had become a pauper’s graveyard...