This map visualises the development of the historic street patterns, water flows, fields, and the built environment since Roman times, and locates key sites for executions, fairs and markets. These ‘historic flows’ reveal the exceptionally strong continuities in terms of street patterns and built environment since the Middle Ages, while evoking how the sensory ‘experiences’ of the area changed over the centuries. Particularly dramatic sensory shifts were brought about through the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, and the ‘sanitisations’ of the mid-Victorian period with the closure of the St. Bartholomew’s fair, the relocation of the livestock market to Islington, the building of the Victorian covered market buildings, the transfer of public executions to Newgate Prison, and the canalisation of the River Fleet underground. The invention of cold storage, new health and safety regularisations, motorised traffic, the Clean Air Act and historic preservation laws further changed the sensory landscape in the twentieth century. The abandonment of part of the market buildings, the disappearance of meat smokeries, the arrival of creative workers and smart restaurants, and new transport links brought more sensory changes in the last decades. We have tried to evoke some of the historical soundscapes, and how they changed between the centuries, with the help of a sound designer.
With thanks to Eloise Whitmore, Sound Designer.