Diamond Street : The Hidden World of Hatton Garden
Hatton Garden is one of the most secret streets in England, home for two centuries to a deeply private working community of diamond and jewellery dealers. Intimately connected to the area both personally (her family run a jewellery business there) and professionally (as an artist archivist of London's streets), Rachel Lichtenstein is uniquely placed to explore the extraordinary history of this mysterious quarter, with its ancient burial sites, diamond workshops, underground vaults, subterranean rivers, monastic dynasties and forgotten palaces. Moving beyond the street itself into parts of Clerkenwell, Holborn and Farringdon, Rachel follows the ancient perimeter of the original Hatton Garden estate, which once bordered the lost River Fleet. Guided on her walks by archaeologists, sewer flushers, artists, goldsmiths, geologists and visionaries of the city such as Iain Sinclair, she crosses the same territory repeatedly, gathering new layers of the story with each journey. The result is a brilliantly immersive and multi-layered portrait; both a documentary and a secret history of a vanishing world.
Rachel Lichtenstein is an artist and writer. She is the co-author, with Iain Sinclair, of Rodinsky's Room and the author, most recently, of On Brick Lane.