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Story Of London

The City Wards in 1731: V


Our next instalment from the Gonzales guide to London in the early part of the 18th century explores five wards running along the north bank of the Thames. These are Candlewick, Walbrook, Dowgate, Vintry and Cordwainer’s Wards. In our perambulation we come across London Stone, the Stocks Market, the Steel Yard, Vintner’s Hall and Bow Lane.

11. Candlewick or Cannon Street Ward contains part of Great East Cheap, part of Candlewick, now called Cannon Street, part of Abchurch Lane, St. Nicholas Lane, St. Clement’s Lane, St. Michael’s Lane, Crooked Lane, St. Martin’s Lane, St. Lawrence Poultney Lane, with the courts and alleys that fall into them.
In Cannon Street is that remarkable stone called London Stone, which has remained fixed in the ground many hundred years, but for what end is uncertain, though supposed by some to be the place from whence the Romans began to compute the number of miles anciently to any part of the kingdom.The Stocks Market12. Walbrook Ward contains the best part of Walbrook, part of Bucklersbury, the east end of Budge Row, the north end of Dowgate, part of Cannon Street, most of Swithin’s Lane, most of Bearbinder Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Green Lattice Lane, and part of Abchurch Lane, with several courts and lanes that fall into them.
Stocks Market consists of a pretty large square, having Cornhill and Lombard Street on the north-east, the Poultry on the north-west, and Walbrook on the south-east. Before the Fire it was a market chiefly for fish and flesh, and afterwards for fruit and garden stuff.
In this market Sir Robert Vyner, Bart. and Alderman, erected a marble equestrian statue of King Charles II., standing on a pedestal eighteen feet high, and trampling on his enemies.
The public buildings in this ward are Salters’ Hall, the churches of St. Swithin and St. Stephen, Walbrook.13. Dowgate, or Dowgate Ward, so called from the principal street, which has a steep descent or fall into the Thames, contains part of Thames Street, part of St. Lawrence-Poultney Hill, part of Duxford Lane, part of Suffolk Lane, part of Bush Lane, part of Dowgate Hill, Checquer Yard, Elbow Lane, and Cloak Lane; and the southward of Thames Street, Old Swan Lane, Cole Harbour, Allhallows Lane, Campion Lane, Friars Lane, Cozens Lane, Dowgate Dock, and the Steel Yard.
The public buildings in this ward are Tallow-chandlers’ Hall, Skinners’ Hall, Innholders’ Hall, Plumbers’ Hall, Joiners’ Hall, Watermen’s Hall, and the church of Allhallows the Great.14. Vintry Ward (which was so called from the wine merchants who landed and sold their wines here) contains part of Thames Street, New Queen Street, Garlick Hill, College Hill, and St. Thomas Apostles.
The public buildings in this ward are Vintners’ Hall, Cutlers’ Hall, the churches of St. Michael Royal and St. James, Garlick Hill.
St Mary le BowVintners’ Hall is situated on the south side of Thames Street, between Queen Street and Garlick Hill, being built on three sides of a quadrangle fronting the street. The rooms are large, finely wainscoted and carved, particularly the magnificent screen at the east end of the great hall, which is adorned with two columns, their entablature and pediment; and on acroters are placed the figure of Bacchus between several Fames, with other embellishments; and they have a garden backwards towards the Thames.
15. Cordwainers’ Street Ward, so called from the cordwainers (shoemakers), curriers, and other dealers in leather, that inhabited that part of the town anciently, includes Bow Lane, New Queen Street, Budge Row, Tower Royal Street, Little St. Thomas Apostle’s, Pancras Lane, a small part of Watling Street, a little part of Basing Lane, and St. Sythe’s Lane.
The public buildings in this ward are the churches of St. Anthony, St. Mary Aldermary, and St. Mary-le-Bow.