Huguenots walking tours in Spitalfields takes place on the first Tuesday of each month from May to October. We meet at Christ Church, Spitalfields at 2pm.
Donation £10 per head goes towards the Huguenots of Spitalfields educational fund. You can turn up on the day but to guarantee a place, please buy your tickets in advance.
Many of the Huguenots (French Protestants) who left France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 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 we will pass Anna Maria Garthwaite’s house and the hear the compelling story of this remarkable woman who died over 250 years ago.
The next Huguenot Footsteps in Spitalfields are:
Dates in 2017:
|Tuesday 2nd May|
|Tuesday 6th June|
|Tuesday 4th July|
|Tuesday 1st August|
|Tuesday 5th September|
|Tuesday 3rd October|
Walk in Soho - Date to be announced
“Many parts of this parish so greatly abound with French that it is an easy matter for a stranger to imagine himself in France".
It was the Court of St James and the neighbouring aristocracy which attracted the Huguenots to settle in Soho. It became the centre of the luxury goods market: gun makers, miniaturists, wigmakers, silversmiths, tapestry weavers, tailors, painters and sculptors. C18th London was an expanding middle class market as well with an appetite for the ‘French style’. We hear of the finest silversmith in the country, the mathematician who created the insurance industry and the founder of an art academy which would become the Royal Academy. We will see where the Huguenots worshipped and two surviving streets typical of the Huguenot period. It’s a story of faith, hard work, talent and success.