198 – My New Website: Clerkenwell – Our Little Italy

Most of our family and friends know that we are big fans of family history. It should be warned, however, that it’s a very addictive pastime and once you get started you can so easily get hooked !!!

I started by researching my father’s side of the family, the Richards family – Tin Miners from Cornwall, the Davies family – Coal Miners from Ammanford in South Wales and the Houghagan’s  from County Mayo / County Galway in Ireland and in Swansea.

Next we began researching Paul’s Shapcott family from Whitestone / Exeter in Devon. This got us well and truly hooked and we went on to liaise with several other Shapcott researchers, and we have put together a large database of information. Consequently, we registered our Shapcott interests with “The Guild of One-Name Studies”. We were interested to discover just how far and wide Shapcott’s are dispersed from their native homeland of Knowstone in North Devon, and to learn more about their individual stories and varied ways of life.

Shapcott Barton in Knowstone Devon

Shapcott Barton in Knowstone, Devon – The ancestral home of the Shapcotes

Here is our Shapcott Family Website: http://www.shapcott-family.com

Shapcott Coat of Arms

And then of course there was my Italian side of the family who came from Atina.

Atina Val di Comino Frosinone Italy

Atina Val di Comino Frosinone Italy

My Atina website: http://atinaitaly.com


They ended up in London and rented an old house in Clerkenwell London, on the junction of Little Saffron Hill and Ray street. 

Herbal Hill or Little Saffron Hill Clerkenwell London

Herbal Hill or Little Saffron Hill Clerkenwell London

Leonardi Family clerkenwell London

My mother, Tina (Concetta), was born there in 1920. 

Little Italian Girl Clerkenwell London

Little Tina

First Communion in Clerkenwell London

Tina’s First Communion

Wedding at St Peters Italian Church Clerkenwell, London

Tina and Hugh’s wedding

I decided to write my mother’s story about a child growing up in Little Italy

during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Little Italian girl in Little Italy Clerkenwell London

In addition it includes descriptions of living in London through the Blitz during WWII, the internment of “enemy aliens” and the terrible tragedy of the Arandora Star.

The website also has a section dedicated to the history of Clerkenwell over the last few centuries and the influx of Italian immigrants to this area. There is information regarding the padrones, the organ-grinders, the street musicians, the artists’ models, the immigrants’ various crafts and trades, the terrible living conditions in the slums and, of course, the manufacture of ice cream.

Another section is devoted to St Peter’s Italian Church and the annual procession in honour of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

During this project, I have met through the wonders of the internet, a number of interesting people who share my passion for Clerkenwell’s Little Italy and its social history, and also the history of London.  I would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has helped me.

A special thank you to those photographers who kindly gave me permission to use their wonderful images to illustrate the website.

So, here it is: Clerkenwell Our Little Italy


I have also created a Facebook Group    

Clerkenwell Our Little Italy    

My New Atina Website: http://atinaitaly.com

#clerkenwelllondon, #clerkenwell #familyhistory #atinaitaly #italianprocession #littleitaly



Tre Cancelle Farmhouse Apartments

Near Sperlonga Beaches and Historic Itri, South Lazio, Italy


10 thoughts on “198 – My New Website: Clerkenwell – Our Little Italy

  1. Thank you for posting your photos and wonderful story. The Southern Italians seem to have had quite a love affair with Britain. Before the first world war my grandfather and two relatives travelled from the Atina area and played as traveling minstrels in Blackpool, Bath and other English towns. Then he and my grandmother, who came from Atina, emigrated to the US.
    I am visiting Atina in May this year. Do you have any suggestions or advice? We want to walk from Atina south to Castel Belmonte, the town of my other grandmother. Is it safe or possible to do so? Or is it all highway? Thanks! Cecilia

      • Grazie Nonna Lou!!! I am 63 and my daughter is 21. We can do it! On the map there is a small road that winds near the bigger road which I think must be foir cars. Is that the one I should take? Much of it is named Sferrocavalla. Grazie again! Cecilia From: Tre Cancelle Blog To: erminiver@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2015 6:35 AM Subject: [New comment] 198 – My New Website: Clerkenwell – Our Little Italy #yiv3515922376 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3515922376 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3515922376 a.yiv3515922376primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3515922376 a.yiv3515922376primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3515922376 a.yiv3515922376primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3515922376 a.yiv3515922376primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3515922376 WordPress.com NonnaLou commented: “Ciao Celia, Thanks for you kind comments. It is possible to walk to Belmonte along the old road, but it is a fair walk. Belmonte Castello is a sweet little village perched on a rock. Here are my webpages for Belmonte Castello http://www.shapcott-family” | |

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