Once Upon A Time – St. James Church Gardens

Once Upon A Time draws on the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of Clerkenwell, from wife sales to prison bombings. Working in collaboration with UAL Chelsea College of Arts, BA Graphic Design Communication students were tasked with presenting a series of graphical vinyl designs to bring the stories to life during CDW’s 10th edition.

More than 50 design ideas were presented and seven winning entries were selected by a judging panel including; Max Fraser, CDW Content Editor, Priya Khanchandani, ICON Editor and David Barnett, Chelsea College of Art Course Leader, BA Graphic Design Communication.

Below we highlight the entries received for one of our locations, St.James Church Gardens and highlight the history of the area.

You can see all winning entries here.

Location Six – St. James Church Gardens

St James’s Church was erected in 1788–92 and is the parish church for Clerkenwell. The church still stands on the site of the 12th century church, built for the Augustinian St Mary’s nunnery, which occupied the land in this part of Clerkenwell until Henry VIII closed it in 1539.

Since 1176, the old church had doubled up as the parish church, and underwent numerous alterations and extensions over the centuries. By the 1780s, it was safe to say it was in need of a rebuild.

With Clerkenwell’s has a long history of clock making since the late 17th – mid 20th century. The church clock was made by Clerkenwell’s clock making company, Thwaites and Reed. Which, traces origins back to 1610. The clock still exists today in Brighton. Thwaites and Reed also made the clocks outside Fortnam & Masons, Horseguards’ Parade and Whitehall.

Inside the church, there is a memorial to the victims of the Clerkenwell House of Detention Fenian Bomb Outrage.


Tobias Lever


Xiaoxu Wang


Megan Maenmuang


Maeri Docherty


Tienyu Chang


Yishan Xu


Winning Entry: Alistair Ramage