Clerkenwell has a long history of radicalism. In the Victorian era it was the preserve of the poor and deprived and most well-known for the Smithfield meat market. In the 1980's property developers realised its potential and it is now a trendy, popular place in the heart of the capital.
The creative industries have flocked to the area, and brought with them a demand for appropriately trendy bars and restaurants. Clerkenwell is known as London's 'Little Italy'. London’s diamond and jewellery centre, Hatton Garden, is in this part of town. The streets are packed with jewellers, but it is not unheard of to spot a trade taking place on the roadside.
This area also has connections with some famous political figures; Lenin lived on Holford square for a time, and the Marx Memorial Library can be found at Clerkenwell Green.