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Celia Celia

Published April 8th, 2012

The thoroughfare of Holborn runs from the crossing of the Fleet at what was "Oldbourne Bridge" - the river now under Farringdon Street and the bridge replaced with Holborn Viaduct - into the West End terminating at (as I recall) Drury Lane. The road was famed for it's Inns of Court and is steeped in history ranging from the Knights Templar to being the route of the condemned as they travelled from Newgate Prison or the Tower of London to meet their end at the Tyburn gibbet - this was sited at what is now the junction of Edgware Road and Oxford Street (there's a 'memorial' to the gibbet just by the Odeon if you're of a mind to look).

On 'execution days' the road would be lined with spectators as usually the condemned were flogged en route. Other brutal punishments were carried out here, A famous example of this being the punishment of one Titus Oates, a conspirator involved in the Popish Plot in the late 17th Century. His punishment was to stand in the pillory five times a year following which he was whipped from Aldgate to Newgate and on the next day from Newgate to Tyburn. Quite remarkably Oates survived this - although not without the help from supporters and friends - and lived on to be pardoned when William of Orange came to the throne.

On a lighter note - whenever I think of Holborn the late Adrian Mitchell comes to mind. A great author, playwright, political activitst and poet his poem Celia Celia always brings a smile to my face...

When I am sad an weary,
When I think all hope has gone,
When I walk along High Holborn
I think of you with nothing on

Far preferable.


Celia Celia

  • January 27th, 2012
  • Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
  • 10mm / f/20 / 10 sec

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