Outrage in Clerkenwell

  • 15
  • Dec

In December 1867, the area around the Clerkenwell House of Detention was rocked by a huge explosion when an attempt to break out Fenian prisoners went badly wrong. With many killed and injured and significant and widespread damage, there was a national outcry. The incident became known as the “Clerkenwell Outrage”  and later the “Clerkenwell Explosion.”

This year is the 150th anniversary since the incident, which is considered to be the first explosion caused by a nationalist organisation in the UK mainland. Twelve local people were killed and several others injured. It also resulted in the last public hanging of a man in Britain.

Islington Museum’s exhibition Fenian Outrage: The Clerkenwell Explosion of 1867 commemorates this significant historical act, detailing the facts surrounding the event and its aftermath. It is running from Friday 1 December to 30 January 2018 (then touring). Find out more.

The exhibition is supported by a free one hour guided walk, looking at the stories surrounding the explosion and some of the people caught up in it.

It also explores Clerkenwell’s long-held reputation for radicalism and revolution including the  Chartists, anarchists and others who used the area as a rallying point for their activities, and the forces of law and order who tried to stop them!

The walks are taking place on Saturday 9 and 16 December at 11am. They last one hour and are free but booking is essential.

Reserve your place


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