Monday, June 21, 2010

Origins of London Street Names Pt 2

Monday, June 21, 2010
Loretta reports:

This continues a previous blog. You might want to look for these places on one of my favorite historical maps.


Clifford's Inn was a house granted by Edward II. to the family of Cliffords, and afterwards leased, and then sold to the students of the law.

Covent (i. e. Convent) Garden, was formerly a Garden belonging to the Abbot and Convent of Westminster. It was granted in 1552 to John, Earl of Bedford.

Cripple-Gate was built before the Conquest, and took its name from the cripples who used to beg there. It was repaired in 1633.

Crutched Friars took its name from a monastery of the Holy Cross, suppressed by Henry VIII.

Fleet Ditch, was formerly called the River, or Fleet; being navigable for merchant ships as far as Holborn-bridge.

Goodman's fields were in Stow's time, the fields and farm of one Goodman.

Gracechurch - street, formerly Grasschurchstreet, was so called from grass or herbs sold there.

Gray's-Inn was a house belonging to the Grays of Wilton, who resided there from 1315, till the reign of Edward III., when they demised it to the students of the law.

Hicks's Hall was erected for a Session House in 1612, by Sir Baptist Hicks, a mercer.

Holborn was formerly a village called Oldbourne, from a stream which broke out near the place where the bars now stand, and ran down the street to Old-bourne-bridge, and so into the river of Fleet, now Fleet-ditch. This was long ago stopped up at the head, and in other places. Holborn was first paved in 1535.

House of Commons was formerly St. Stephen's Chapel, being founded by that King. It was new built and endowed by Edward III., in 1347, and suppressed by Edward VI., since which time it has served as a House of Parliament.

The Spirit of the public journals for the year 1825: being an impartial selection of the most exquisite essays and jeux d'esprits and tales of humour, prose and verse, with explanatory notes, Volume 3.  Authors George Cruikshank, Robert Cruikshank.    Printed for James Ridgway, 1826.

Above left:  General view of Covent Garden looking north, circa 1720, from an engraving by Sutton Nicholls. Courtesy Library of Congress Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Below right: House of Commons, from The Microcosm of London, illustrated by Pugin and Rowlandson.


GentlewomanThief said...

I do love these histories of place names. I always find it funny that Covent Garden was originally Convent Garden and later became a well-known haunt for ladies of disrepute - the irony!

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Isabella Bradford/Susan Holloway Scott said...

I love how the whole history of London can be found in these place names - expansion, enclosure, development, neighborhoods that change for good and bad. It's all here, isn't it?

Finegan Antiques said...

I love unusal street names and the history behind them. When I visited the Cotswold area I came across a rural road title "Cow Shit Lane". Now I wonder how that got it's name?


Unknown said...

Ahhh, I have been searching for the credits to that image of covent garden! Thankyou about a million times! It's been so tough to find!! xxx

LorettaChase said...

Paper Heart Girl: The Library of Congress one of my favorite treasure troves--lots of documentation.

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