Here's a mystery in a minor key. This is a path that leads from the hidden-away Spa Fields in Clerkenwell to Exmouth Market. The three silver painted bollards are all embossed 'C.V.'- but what on earth was 'CV'?
It took me a while. But I think I have cracked it. And it is sort of bleedin' obvious.
And the clue is in the rather imposing late Victorian municipal building nearby.
This is the rear view of Finsbury Town Hall, which stands on a peculiarly shaped triangular parcel of land. But it wasn't built by the Borough of Finsbury.
This was constructed in 1894-5 as the Clerkenwell Vestry Hall on ground cleared during the construction of Rosebery Avenue. The vestry was the form of local government in place until 1900 - when Clerkenwell was joined with neighbouring St Luke's in the new Borough of Finsbury (which was in turn subsumed into the London Borough of Islington in the 1960s).
The Clerkenwell Vestry was notorious for guzzling (dining well at ratepayers' expense) and for the house agents who contested elections largely to obstruct the enforcement of sanitary and building regulations.
There was an earlier vestry hall on the same site, which had been built in 1814 as the Spa Fields watch house. This later and clearly ambitious building - its interior is much more grand - was constructed in the closing years of the vestry and was, by their parsimonious standards, an opulent spend.
Strangely, although the back end of the town hall is architecturally impressive it doesn't have an entrance to match. The main entrance is on the Rosebery Avenue side.
So 'C.V.'? It has to stand for Clerkenwell Vestry, doesn't it?
Andrew Whitehead's blog
Welcome - read - comment - throw stones - pick up threads - and tell me how to do this better!