In which we continue our look at some of London’s connections with Dickens’ writings…

• ‘Oliver Twist’ workhouse, Cleveland Street. The building, recently heritage listed following a campaign to save it, is said to have served as the model for the workhouse in Oliver Twist and was apparently the only building of its kind still in operation when Dickens wrote the book in the 1830s. Dickens had lived as a teenager nearby in a house in Cleveland Street and was living less than a mile away in Doughty Street (now the Charles Dickens Museum) when he wrote Oliver Twist. Thanks to Ruth Richardson – author of Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor – for mentioning this after last week’s post.

• Clerkenwell Green. It is here that Mr Brownlow first comes into contact with Oliver Twist and, mistakenly suspecting him of stealing from him, chases him through the surrounding streets. Interestingly, the grass (which you would expect when talking about a green) has been gone for more than 300 years – so it wasn’t here in Dickens’ time either.

• Barnard’s Inn, Fetter Lane. It was here, at one of London’s Inns of Court, that Pip and Herbert Pocket had chambers in Great Expectations. Barnard’s Inn, now the home of Gresham College, is only one of a number of the Inns of Court with which Dickens and his books had associations – the author lived for a time at Furnival’s Inn while Lincoln’s Inn (off Chancery Lane) features in Bleak House and the medieval Staple Inn on High Holborn makes an appearance in his unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. And, as mentioned last week, Middle Temple also features in his books.

• ‘Dickens House’, Took’s Court. Renamed Cook’s Court in Bleak House, the house – located in a court between Chancery and Fetter Lane – was where the law stationer Mr Snagsby lived and worked in the book. It’s now occupied by music promoter and impresario Raymond Gubbay.

• London Bridge. The bridge, a new version of which had opened in 1831 (it has since been replaced), featured in many of Dickens’ writings including Martin Chuzzlewit, David Copperfield and Great Expectations. Other bridges also featured including Southwark Bridge (Little Dorrit) and Blackfriars Bridge (Barnaby Rudge) and as well as Eel Pie Island, south-west along the Thames River at Twickenham, which is mentioned in Nicholas Nickleby.

We’ve only included a brief sample of the many locations in London related in some way to Dickens’ literary works. Aside from those books we mentioned last week, you might also want to take a look at Richard Jones’ Walking Dickensian London,  Lee Jackson’s Walking Dickens’ London or, of course, Claire Tomalin’s recent biography, Charles Dickens: A Life.

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• First-up, we’d like to wish you all a happy St Patrick’s Day! And if you missed the St Patrick’s Day Parade and free festival in London last Sunday, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of Irish cheer on the city streets with the London Eye and Battersea Power Station both turning green to mark the occasion while the green beer is flowing at the city’s many Irish pubs.

The building some believe served as a model for the workhouse in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist has been saved from demolition with a Grade II listing. Completed in 1778, the Covent Garden Workhouse in Cleveland Street became the workhouse of The Strand Poor Law Union in 1836 and was later used as an infirmary before more recently serving as the outpatients department of the Middlesex Hospital. The workhouse is believed to the most well preserved of the three surviving 18th century workhouses in London. Announcing the listing this week, John Penrose, Minister for Heritage and Tourism, said that while it is unknown whether or not the building was the inspiration for the workhouse featured in Oliver Twist, “we know that it is the sole survivor of the workhouses  that were operating in the capital when Dickens wrote his famous novel and that as a young man he lived just nine doors along from it”. Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said the listing also recognised the association between the workhouse and Dr Joseph Rogers, whose direct experience of the workhouse when working as Chief Medical Officer led him to launch important reforms of the system of healthcare provision for the poor.

David Gestetner, a key player in the development of office copying technology, has been commemorated with a blue plaque outside his former residence at 124 Highbury New Park in Islington. The Hungarian-born Gestetner lived at the property for 41 years until his death in 1939. The plaque was unveiled on Tuesday by two of his great grand-children.

On Now: Watteau: The Drawings. The first retrospective exhibition of the drawings of French artist Jean-Antoine Watteau opened last Saturday at the Royal Academy of Arts. Watteau is known for inventing the genre of fetes galantes (small pictures of social gatherings of elegant people in parkland settings) and for his mastery of the ‘three chalks’ or trois crayons technique using red, black and white. The exhibition features more than 80 works on paper. There is an admission charge. Runs until 5th June. See http://www.royalacademy.org.uk for more information.