Huguenot Footsteps: Spitalfields Guided Walk

25 Oct

The Huguenots - French Protestants - were this country’s first refugees, escaping religious persecution in Catholic France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1685. Many settled in London: in Soho, the City, Clerkenwell, Greenwich, Spitalfields and Wandsworth; but others went further afield, to Canterbury, Colchester, Faversham, Norwich and Sudbury, where they could practise their faith in peace.

Many of the Huguenots (French Protestants) who left France were weavers - over the years 25,000 settled in Spitalfields. They brought their skills (known as “the Mysteries of the Strangers”), new techniques, new ideas and the incomparable French style. The master weavers lived in large, elegant houses whilst the journeymen weavers lived in small houses north of Spitalfields and Bethnal Green. You will hear about the silk industry, famous pattern designers, fashions, the weaving process and much more. Notably you will pass Anna Maria Garthwaite’s house and hear the compelling story of this remarkable woman who died over 250 years ago.

In the 2020 Autumn programme there are two guided walks taking place near the City;

Huguenot Footsteps: Spitalfields

Sunday 25 October –  12.00 noon

Discover the streets where the weavers settled as knowledgeable guide, Neil  Sinclair, points out historic facets of this most diverse area of London.
Tickets - £10 and  booking via the website
Meeting place –  Outside Christ Church Spitalfields

Sunday 29 November –12.00 noon

The last footsteps of 2020 will be hosted by Guide/Lecturer Paul Baker, who will highlight his favourite parts of Huguenot Spitalfields. He tells a good tale or two along the way.
Tickets - £10 and booking via the website
Meeting place – Outside Christ Church Spitalfields

For the full Autumn 2020 programme and more information about the Huguenots of Spitalfields please click here.