Nestled on the other side of Bishopsgate, Broadgate’s neighbour, Spitalfields, has a very interesting and inspiring past. From 9-20 July, discover the history and heritage of the Huguenots of Spitalfields with Huguenot Threads – a vibrant and diverse programme of events – some of which are free.
Celebrating the Huguenots contribution to banking, journalism, silk weaving, architecture and music in the UK, these events take place in a range of City locations including the Broadgate Welcome Centre - perfect for a cultural lunch break or after work activity.
The full programme is available on the Huguenots of Spitalfields website here, but here's our top picks:
- Huguenots in the City Walks: Explore the streets and alleyways of the City and hear stories of the Huguenot characters who transformed banking, finance, journalism and so much more. Daily 9-20 July at 11am; £5; Meet at the Duke of Wellington Statue in front of the Royal Exchange.
- Dennis Severs' House: Visit the wonderful 18th Century Huguenot house to see what life could have been like inside for a family of Huguenot silk weavers. 12,15,17,19 July12noon-4pm; £10
- The Huguenot Story: Hear a story of bravery, entrepreneurism, creativity and industry from Charlie de Wet (chair of Huguenots of Spitalfields). 16 July 6pm; £5; Guildhall Library
- Open Day at Christ Church Spitalfields: Visit Hawksmoor's masterpiece and find out if you're a Huguenots. 11 July 10am-4pm; Free (register here)
- 'Two Huguenot Field Marshals of the British Army': Hear Historian T A Heathcote talk on two outstanding Huguenot field marshals in the British Army, François de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Montandre, and Sir John Ligonier. 15 July 1pm; Free (register here); Broadgate Welcome Centre.
The Huguenots were members of the French Protestant Church, many of whom, before the French Revolution of 1789, left their homes in France to escape persecution. More than 50,000 of these refugees came to the British Isles and today one in six of us are of Huguenot descent.
Organised by the charity, Huguenots of Spitalfields, Huguenot Threads, is presented in partnership with the City of London and sponsored by British Land, Water Poet and Crown & Shuttle.