Smithfield, which is just a five minute walk from St Paul's Cathedral, has been the site of somoe of England's darkest days. During the reign of Mary, and at infrequent times previous to this, faithful witnesses to Christ, lost their lives in the flames here.
"In the Middle Ages Smithfield was a broad grassy space known as Smooth Field, just outside the London Wall, on the eastern bank of the River Fleet. Due to its access to grazing and water, it was used as the City's main livestock market for nearly 1000 years."
"As a large open space close to the City, Smithfield was a favourite place for public gatherings. Along with Tyburn, Smithfield was for centuries the main site for the public execution of heretics and dissidents in London. The Scottish nobleman William Wallace was executed here in 1305. The market was used as a meeting place for the peasants in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and the revolt's leader, Wat Tyler was killed there after being stabbed by William Walworth, the Mayor of London, and a squire on 15 June 1381."