Turnmill Street

Clerkenwell (EC1) Is of great antiquity, and of peculiar interest, from its disreputable associations, it having been infamous for centuries past. Early in the fourteenth century it is mentioned in an old document as Trylmyl Street. Stow explains that Turnmill Street was so called from its proximity to the Fleet, or Turnmill or Tremill Brook, because divers mills were erected upon it. It was long vulgarly called Turnbull and Trunball Street. So well known was once the depraved character of the street that frequent references are to be found in the works of our early dramatists to Turnbull Street and its profligate inhabitants. Shakespeare (Henry IV, Act III, Second Part, written about 1598) alludes to this highway. Ben Jonson in Bartholomew Fair, 1614, also refers to it. Formerly a large portion of this district was called "Jack Ketch's Warren," from the fact that a great number of persons who were hung at Newgate were brought from the courts and alleys here. (Reference: Timbs's London and Westminster, vol. I, pp. 266-9)