Friday, 3 July 2015

Ancestors in the Rookery

My time clock is a little out of kilter this month so please accept my apologies for this late and short post that once again focuses on Where. This week I have been researching my convict ancestors Elizabeth Phipps and James Westbrook who were transported to Australia two hundred odd years ago.

I had an address (the scene of their crime) for this pair, Angel and Porter Court, Golden Lane, London which I discovered was in the Parish of St Luke, Old Street. Although I found a contemporary map for the area I was not able to pinpoint the exact location of their domicile. The 19th century buildings in the area have long since disappeared; many were destroyed in The Blitz.

"The reputation of St Luke’s as a ‘rookery’ – a zone of criminality – reached a peak in the first half of the 19th century. ‘Flash houses’ – drinking dens and lodging houses where criminal plans were laid and stolen goods fenced – were more numerous here than anywhere else in London." (source:

After a visit to The Society of Genealogists in London I was strolling back to the underground station when I saw some daggy apartment buildings that were signposted "The Golden Lane Estate". These "Council Flats" aren't too attractive but they are Heritage Liated! I wonder how they measure against the original rookery?

The Golden Lane Estate

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