Art Canvas


Still the gateway to old London.

Located just outside the ancient walls of the City of London, Spitalfields in early times was the site of the Mediaeval priory of St Mary Spital (or Hospital, hence Spital Fields), founded in 1197. Part of the brickwork of the priory survives in the basement of this building. Later, Protestant refugees expelled from Catholic France congregated here, founding a silk-weaving industry which became almost as famous as that of Lyons.

The parish of Spitalfields is clustered around the magnificent Christ Church, built in 1729 to the designs of Nicholas Hawksmoor, who had been Wren’s assistant before succeeding him as Master of the King’s Works. It is now an up-and-coming residential area thronged with fashionable restaurants and bars, home to celebrities and artists such as Tracey Emin and Gilbert and George.

Batty Langley’s is ideally placed as the gateway to this newly refreshed corner of Old London, only a few short steps from the Square Mile. In among the cobbled streets and time-worn Georgian buildings that surround the hotel are some of the capital’s coolest pubs, bars, shops, restaurants and street markets.

The nearest Underground station is Liverpool Street, six minutes walk away (Central, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City as well as mainline services) and Shoreditch High Street, five minutes away (Overground). If you prefer, we will arrange for a car to meet you at the airport.

How you can discover Georgian Spitalfields today

Walk the cobbled streets, starting in Fournier Street and heading north-east along Wilkes Street, Hanbury Street, and Folgate Street to Elder Street, noting as you go the elaborate wooden doorcases, elegant sash windows (many still with their original hand-blown crown glass), beautifully detailed dark-coloured brickwork and, in many cases, the well-lit lofts where Huguenot weavers once worked at their hand looms.

Admire Christ Church, Nicholas Hawksmoor`s towering masterpiece of 1729, and the elegant Rectory he designed and built next door.

Stroll down Artillery Lane, where you will find one of the most beautifully preserved Georgian shopfronts in London, now the Raven Row Gallery, E1 7LS.

Arrange to visit Dennis Severs`s House at 18 Folgate Street, E1 6BX, left to the Spitalfields Trust by its creator when he died.  Crammed with character, decorated and furnished exactly as it would have been in the 18th century, and with a fascinating story to tell, the house is one of London`s unforgettable visitor experiences.

Visit the Loyal United Friends` Synagogue at 19 Princelet Street, E1 6QH.  Now also owned by the Spitalfields Trust and leased to the Museum of Immigration, the synagogue was built in 1862 by an obscure group of Jewish immigrants from Russia in the back garden of a 1719 terraced house, originally occupied by the Ogier family of silk merchants.  The synagogue`s congregation, much depleted, abandoned the building in 1963, leaving all the atmospheric original contents in place and, on the top floor, the apartment formerly occupied by David Rodinksky, a reclusive scholar whose surviving possessions and papers indicate he studied not only the sacred texts but also a variety of languages including Sanskrit.

Stay at Batty Langley`s, almost next door to the Severs house.  Once inside, you will experience for yourself the authentic ambience of the Georgian period whilst enjoying all the amenities of a 21st Century boutique hotel – just voted, in fact, by Travel & Leisure one of the 50 best in the world!

Dine at Galvin`s La Chapelle, just round the corner in Spital Square.  This is the building the Spitalfields Trust saved from destruction at Christmas, 1980 by locking themselves inside.  As you enjoy some of London`s best cooking, finest wines and most attentive service, look around you and appreciate just why we moved in.


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