Diamond Street, the Bard and Scary Selfie

As part of CDW Presents, festival sponsor and showroom partner Designworks Tiles will be presenting five installations all inspired by the history of the neighbourhood…

Image: The diamond design inspired by Hatton Garden’s jewellery trade

GIN CRAZE: 24 Britton Street

Clerkenwell went crazy for gin in the 18th century, and this tipple is back in fashion today. Look out for Designworks Tiles’ oversized highball glass complete with lemon and lime wedges and ice cubes. The installation in Britton Street is a nod to Booth’s Gin, a major distiller in Clerkenwell (you can still see the Booth’s frieze that depicts gin production).

This street is famous for its jewellery trade (and for the heist from safe deposit boxes in April). Craftsmen have been here since medieval times and, with 300 businesses and 55 shops, it’s still pretty bling today. So the tile installation in Hatton Garden is no surprise: a large diamond design covered with glittering mosaics and lit up by fibre optic lighting.

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Image: A life-size mural of the bear who ate his owner in Clerkenwell in 1709

BEAR BITES: 26 Ray Street
Here you can grab a selfie with some horrible history. Hockley-inthe- Hole (later renamed Ray Street) was the infamous area where fans of bear baiting gathered. In 1709, the bear garden’s proprietor Christopher Preston was devoured by one of his own bears. You can mark that moment of revenge by sticking your head in the bear’s mouth with the CDW life-size mosaic mural.

IN THE STOCKS: 22 Clerkenwell Green
The former Middlesex Session House was a courthouse from 1782 to 1920. As well as severe sentences for the accused, who were held in dungeons, stocks were positioned on the green for drunkards. An installation will mark that public punishment with stocks decorated with wood-effect tiles, and a plaque will detail some of the court’s harshest sentences.


Image: A bust of Shakespeare will mark the theatrical history of Clerkenwell

BARD IN 3-D: St John’s Gate
From 1579, Edmund Tilney was Queen Elizabeth’s Master of Revels with responsibility for censoring the theatre. He had the job for 31 years, which covered almost the entire career of Shakespeare. To celebrate EC1’s theatrical history, a bust of Shakespeare will be printed using a 3-D effect on large tiles (glasses will be available). Guided tours will be taking place each day of Clerkenwell Design Week (19-21 May), departing at 11am, 1pm and 3pm from the Designworks Tiles showroom, 91 St John Street. Maps marking the installations are available from the showroom.