Saturday, 11 August 2012
As you know Spitalfields in London, home to centuries of silk-weavers and immigrants is one of my favourite haunts whenever I am up in town. At 19 Princelet Street there is a very special, though fragile, gem for you perhaps to visit.
Built in 1719 this 'brick messuage' became the home of the Ogier family, who had escaped from persecution in France. They entered the silk weaving trade and prospered mightily. As most Huguenots moved on, the elegant Georgian houses were sub-divided into lodgings and workshops. At 19 Princelet Street the attic windows were altered to let in more light for weavers to work, but later occupants of the house followed other trades and professions, including Mrs Mary Ellen Hawkins who used it as an industrial school, and Isaiah Woodcock who was a carver and gilder.
In the garden where the Ogier children once played, there is a rare surviving synagogue erected by the Jewish community in 1869. And 100 years later, up in the third floor attics, in 1969 a recluse, David Rodinsky, locked his door and … disappeared. The museum is not open every day. You can arrange for groups to visit for a minimum donation of £100 to help with the preservation of this important historical building. Click here for more details.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 09:00