Tag Archives: Cripplegate

“The queen removed from the Lord North’s palace” (Henry Machyn, 1558)

Great Chamber.JPG

Queen's Walk.JPG

On this day in 1558, Henry Machyn wrote in his diary:

“The 28th day of November the queen removed to the Tower from the Lord North’s palace, [which] was the Charterhouse.  All the streets unto the Tower … new gravelled.  Her Grace rode through Barbican and Cripplegate, by London Wall unto Bishopsgate, and up to Leadenhall and through Gracechurch Street and Fenchurch Street; and afore rode gentlemen and many knights and lords, and after came all the trumpets blowing, and then came all the heralds in array; and my Lord of Pembroke bore the queen’s sword; and then came her Grace on horseback, apparelled in purple velvet with a scarf about her neck, and the sergeants of arms about her Grace; and next after her rode Sir Robert Dudley the Master of her Horse; and so the guard with halberds.  And there was such shooting of guns as never was heard afore; so to the Tower, with all the nobles … ”.

Cripplegate Roman Fort

Today I went on a one of the Museum of London’s periodic tours of the most  substantial surviving part of Cripplegate Roman Fort, preserved in the modern underground car park on London Wall.  The fort was originally built in around 120AD, and housed a garrison of perhaps as many as 1000 or more troops, including cavalry, on a 12-acre site to the north-west of the Roman city of Londinium.  Its  west and north walls  were subsequently incorporated  into the City Wall in around 200.  Part of the west wall, gate, and gate-house complete with guard-rooms and turrets, can still be seen in the modern car park, together with a fine reconstruction making sense of things.

Roman Fort reconstruction

Roman Fort Reconstruction (model)