‘St James Clerkenwell’ bollard – Charterhouse entrance gate, London EC1

Cathy Ross wrote for the EC1 Echo of OCT/NOV 2021:

“…Even the unchanging and timeless Charterhouse has the wrong bollards at its entrance gates. Both are marked ‘St James Clerkenwell’, but Charterhouse is actually a patch of extra-parochial land – a microstate of its own. When it eventually became part of the parish system it was assigned to St Sepulchre…

The Charterhouse bollards only arrived in the 1950s, installed by architects Seely and Paget as part of the post-war restoration of the bombed buildings. The two architects were less concerned with historical accuracy as creating a romantic look and thus the bollards are more in the nature of set dressing. The same explanation accounts for the mixture of bollards at St John’s Gate – also done over by Seely and Paget. No doubt the set-dressing impulse still affects today’s designers of public spaces, but reusing historic bollards is far better than sending them for scrap…”

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