Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. John`s Gate (London)

St. John`s Gate is a historic building, constructed of Kentish ragstone, close to central London.

It is situated in St. John`s Lane in the Clerkenwell district, not far from Smithfield Market.

The gatehouse, which straddles the street, was built in 1504 as entrance to the Priory of St. John, and the complex contains a Priory Church and Norman Crypt.

The building features a museum devoted to the history of the Knights Hospitaller, dating back to the 11th century. Formed to care for the sick, this body took over a number of the buildings previously owned by the Knights Templar.

Items on display within the museum include furniture, paintings, armour and stained glass.

The building itself has associations with William Shakespeare, William Hogarth (whose father ran a tavern here), Edward Cave, Dr. Samuel Johnson (who worked on a magazine here), Charles Dickens and David Garrick.

In the 19th century, the St. John Ambulance Brigade was founded at St. John`s Gate.

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