A Walk From Clerkenwell to Barbican: Ghost sign for the rather Dickensian-sounding Lovell & Christmas, formerly no 26 St John's Gate, now 27 St John's Lane, Clerkenwell. William Lovell left his farm in Glastonbury, Somerset in 1844, to found Lovell & Christmas, a food importer and provisions merchant at nearby Smithfield Market.
This building (actually two adjoining buildings) dates from 1877. Note the horse's head top left; no 26 was a shoeing forge and smithy, let to the United Horse Shoe & Nail Co Ltd. It remained in use until 1939, when it became garaging space for St John ambulances. Much of the larger building next door at no 27 was taken up by stabling for 60-70 horses, as well as garages and basement cold stores.
The two buildings are bisected by Passing Alley, an alleyway connecting St John's Gate with St John Street behind.
The entire site was redeveloped in 1999-2001, and the facades are all that is left, with an entirely new and modern structure behind. Today it is the headquarters of the St John Ambulance Association, connected to its former home at St John's Gate (see previous image). #lovell&christmas #passingalley #lovellandchristmas #ghostsigns #ghostsign #londonhistory #victorianarchitecture #victorianhistory #stjohnambulance #stjohnsgate #stjohnslane #clerkenwell #londonalleys