A History of Fann Street


Have you wondered what Fann Street was like before its destruction in 1940? Perhaps you had relatives or ancestors who lived here and would like to know something about them? The recently published "On the City's edge: a history of Fann Street, London" by a resident Anthony Camp, MBE, FSG, will provide answers to these questions. The book describes the street's development from a track across the fields between Aldersgate Street and Golden Lane into an alley of inns and stables running back a few hundred yards along the City's boundary from the carpenter Stephen Fann's workshop on Goswell Road. Fann's Alley, far from salubrious, did not become Fann Street until the 1790s. It was then a short road of over-crowded houses and small shops, which in the 1870s, when the Welsh chapel moved here, was extended to Golden Lane with more lock-up shops, factories and warehouses, but very few residents.

A distillery had developed behind the Aldersgate Street shops on the Blake Tower corner by 1780 and for much of the next century the site was occupied by a pawnbroker's shop with, from 1807 to 1906, the noted Fann Street Foundry behind it. On the north corner the White Hart public house, popularly known as the Corner Pin, and now the Shakespeare, faced the 'Tramway Car City Terminus'. Further along the White Horse had a large yard and extensive stabling, developed with housing in the 1840s. Around them was a warren of houses and workshops for leather workers, pewterers, printers, book binders, box and artificial flower makers. Others made and/or sold mantuas, bonnets, fringes, tassels, ostrich feathers and boas.

The book contains details of the occupants of each property taken from a wide variety of sources, parish registers, wills, census returns, directories, newspapers and court proceedings (for at least ten persons from the street were sentenced to transportation and three to death). There is an index of surnames, three maps and references to all the sources used.

Limited edition, card covers, 97 pages, £9.00, post free. ISBN 978-0-9503308-3-9. By post only from Anthony Camp, 19 Tudor Rose Court, Fann Street, London EC2Y 8DY. Email anthonyjcamp@aol.com.

The book is also available via Nielsen BookNet TeleOrdering but not via Amazon.