A Virtual Tour of Early Modern London, Part One.

Map

1 – Monument, Monument Street

1

Built by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke as a  monument to the Great Fire of 1666.  Archaeological excavations at Monument House uncovered a layer of debris from the fire, including charred imported Dutch and Spanish tiles – and a waffle iron!

2 – Old London Bridge

2

“Old  London Bridge” was finally demolished, after having stood for over six hundred years,  in 1831.  One of its most famous buildings was the palatial residence known as Nonsuch House, built between 1577-9.

The Port of London lay to either side of the bridge.

3 – Eastcheap

3

The site of the “Boar’s Head”, where, in Shakespeare, Falstaff frolicked with Mistress Quickly.

4 – Custom House, Thames Street

4b

The site of the original Custom House, built at least as long ago as 1377, close to the centre of activity on the waterfront, and burned down in the Great Fire of 1666.

5 – All Hallows Barking, Byward Street

5

This church survived the Great Fire (although it was badly damaged during the Blitz).  The diarist Samuel Pepys watched  the progress of the fire from the church, and noted how it “burned the dyall [of the clock]”, but “was there quenched”.

6 – Tower Hill

6a

6b

6c

The site of the executions of, among others, John Fisher, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Wyatt, Robert Devereux, Thomas Wentworth, William Laud and – regicide – Harry Vane.

7 – Tower of London

7

Used in the post-Medieval period less as a royal residence and more as a secure store and a prison.

8 – Seething Lane

8

The site  of a mansion owned by Elizabeth I’s spymaster Francis Walsingham in the Tudor period, and of the Navy Office in the Stuart period.   The Navy Office survived the Great Fire of 1666, but burned down in another fire in 1673.

9 – St Olave Hart Street

9a

This church survived the Great Fire (although it was badly damaged during the Blitz).

9b

Among those buried here are the Florentine merchant – and supposed spy – Piero Capponi, who died of the plague in 1582, …

9c

… and Samuel Pepys, who died in 1703.

10 – All Hallows Staining, Mark Lane

10a

10b

This  church survived the Great Fire of 1666, but its nave collapsed in 1671, due to undermining of the foundations by Great Plague burials.

11 – Lloyd’s of London Building, Fenchurch Street

11

The site of East India House, the London headquarters of the East India Company, built in 1648, and demolished in 1861.  Image, National Maritime Museum.

12 – St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street/St Mary Axe

12a

12b

Among the memorials here is one to the amateur antiquarian John Stow, the author of “A Survay of London”, who died in 1605.

13   – St Katharine Cree, Leadenhall Street

13a

13b

13c

Originally built in the Medieval period, in the Gothic style, and subsequently partially rebuilt in the post-Medieval, in 1628-31, in the Renaissance style.

Contains a memorial to the Merchant-Adventurer and sometime Mayor John Gayer, who died in 1649, and each year houses the “Lion Sermon” in remembrance of his having being spared by a lion in Syria in 1643.

14 –  Creechurch Lane/Bury Street

14

The site of the first synagogue after the Jewish resettlement in 1656.  The synagogue was demolished in 1701, and replaced by a larger one on an adjacent site just off Bevis Marks, which still stands.

15 – Bishopsgate

15

The site of one  of the gates in the Medieval city wall.  Through the gate to the north is Shoreditch, the site of ”The Theatre”, built in 1576, on the site of the dissolved Holywell Priory.

16 – Bishopsgate/Old Broad Street

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Tower 42 now stands on what was the original site of Gresham College, founded through the bequest of the financier Thomas Gresham in 1597.

17 – Austin Friars, off Old Broad Street

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The site of Thomas Cromwell’s lodgings from the 1520s until his execution in 1540.  Many of the scenes in Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” trilogy, fictionalising  Cromwell’s life, are set here.

18 – St Michael’s Alley (off Cornhill)

18

The site of “Pasqua Rosee’s Head”, the first coffee-house in the City, established in 1652, burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt as the “Jamaica” in the 1670s (the site is marked by a “Blue Plaque” on the present “Jamaica Wine House”).

4 thoughts on “A Virtual Tour of Early Modern London, Part One.

  1. Ingrid Srubjan

    I am reading The Mirror and the Light in Australia. I am loving it, encouraged by Hilary mantel’s wonderful writing to explore some of the built history of London!

    Reply
  2. Ashley

    These have made great reading. Thank you. My wife has just finished reading Hilary Mantel’s latest book, The Mirror & the Light, the end of Thomas Cromwell’s life but not his legacy!

    Reply

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