One enjoyment of being a pedestrian in London is that a leisurely walk gives one time to look around.

Coming out of Fortune Street Park and crossing Golden Lane next to the Denizen you will find the imposing frontage of the UBS building at Number One Golden Lane. But look up.

A foundation stone for the Cripplegate Institute to the side of the building was laid by the Duke of York on 3 July 1894. The building included reading and reference libraries, classrooms, a theatre and even a rifle range.

The Cripplegate Foundation was established in 1891 by the London Parochial Charities Act. It amalgamated charitable donations previously administered as separate trusts and the charitable assets of the Vestry of the Parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate.

The Cripplegate Institute closed in 1973 but the Foundation continues its work in Islington and Cripplegate Ward by giving grants and support to organisations working for the benefit of residents; by developing and working in partnership with local and national organisations to identify need and by promoting effective ways to tackle disadvantage. (

Peter Savage strolls the streets of EC2 – Part 3. The Cripplegate Institute – from the March 2021 issue of Barbican Life magazine.