Billingsgate and Bridge Ward in 1756 neatly engraved from a New Survey
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Index of London wards in 1756 by William Maitland
Of BRIDGE WARD Within,
With a Plate neatly engraved from a New Survey.
Its Name. Whence derived. Its Bounds and Present State, Parishs and Churches. London Bridge. Water Machine. Fishmonger's hall. The Monument. The Black Prince's Palace. Aldermen and Common Council.
THIS Ward derives its Name from its Connection with London Bridge , for it begins Southward at the End next Southwark ; from whence it stretcheth direct North up Gracechurch street, as far as the Corner of Lombard street and Gracechurch street, including all the Bridge, the greatest Part of all the Alleys and Courts on the East Side, and on the West Side all the Alleys,
Courts and Lanes in Thames street on both Sides to New Key, Part of Michael's lane, and Part of Crooked lane. It is encompassed on the South by Southwark, and the River Thames , on the East by Billingsgate Ward; on the North by Langbourn Ward ; and on the West by Candlewick and Dowgate Wards.
As to the present State of this Ward : The Streets and Places of Note are London Bridge, New Fish Street, Gracechurch street, as far as Fenchurch street.
We begin with London Bridge, a Bridge not inferior to any in Europe for its Length, Breadth, and Buildings thereon, being sustained by nineteen great Stone Arches, secured by Piles of Timber drove to the Bottom of the River, having a Draw bridge towards Southwark, as also strong Gates ; and by the houses built thereon on both Sides, it seemeth rather a Street than a Bridge, being furnished with good Timber Buildings, which have been well inhabited by sufficient Tradesmen, who have very considerable Dealings, as being so great a Thoroughfare from Southwark into London: And Amongst these Buildings some are very large, with curious Fronts, in that
Part near the Draw bridge, where it hath an open Prospect on both Sides into the River Thames but we cannot help being of the Opinion of a late Writer, that this Bridge would have been more convenient for Passage, and a greater Ornament to the City, if, instead of the houses thereon, it had been only adorned with a strong Breastwork and Balustrade.
Fish street hill is a Street very well built, and Hill. inhabited by great Dealers in Fish, &c.
King' s head court, on the East Side of the Hill, is open, with indifferent good Buildings, and hath a Passage into Pudding lane.
Globe yard, on the West Side, an open and somewhat large Place, having several Turnings, with a Free stone Pavement, and is indifferently well inhabited.
Crooked lane, also on the West Side, hath a turning Passage into St. Michael's or Miles lane; but the greatest Part being in Candle wick Ward, it (hall be there treated of.
Star Inn, Northward of the Monument, is very large and well accustomed, and hath a Passage into Pudding lane.
Bell yard, seated almost against the Monument, is a good open Court, containing three or four large houses, well inhabited.
Gracechurch street is a very handsome, spacious Street, graced with good Buildings, which are well inhabited by wealthy Tradesmen, being a Street of great Resort. In that Part of the Street lying in this Ward are these Places ; Talbot court, with a wide Entrance for a Coach or Cart, being large and well inhabited.
Out of this Court is a narrow Passage into another of the same Name, which leadeth into Little East cheap, there also taken Notice of Crown court, neat, with a Free stone Pavement, well inhabited, but small. Jerusalem court, indifferent long, with an open Passage, a Free stone Pavement, and good houses.
On the West Side of the Street White hart court, a pretty good open Place, well inhabited by Wholesale Dealers, hath a Passage into another Court so called, which leadeth into Lombard street, mentioned in Langborn Ward. Near unto this is a small Court, with about two or three houses, but without a Name.
Nags head court, very long, well built and inhabited, hath a Passage into St. Clement' s lane, where it is mentioned, the greatest Part being in Langborn Ward.
Thames street is a Place of great Trade; the Part thereof in this Ward begins on the East Side of the Old Swan lane, and goeth Eastward to Fish street hill.
Places of Note in this Part of the Street, are, Gully hole, being a Passage to the Water house, and so to the Thames Side, which lieth open to the Wharfs as far as the Stillyard in Dowgate Ward.
Three tun alley, on the North Side, which is but small.
Churchyard alley, but narrow and indifferent, falls down into the new Passage, being the open Ground next the Thames; which said Passage leads to Old Swan stairs Westward, and to the Water house Eastward, as aforesaid.
North from Thames street is St. Michael' s lane, which hath the greatest Part in Candlewick Ward. In the Part of this Lane belonging to this Ward is Fen court, a handsome, open, and well built Place, with a Free stone Pavement.
Three tun court, a good square Place, with an open Entrance for Carts.
Egbate lane runs down to the Thames, and unto the Old Swan stairs, much Resorted unto by Watermen, and is of good Note.
The Old Swan lane also runs down to the Water Side, and leadeth to the said Stairs : The West Side of this Lane is in Dowgate Ward.
St. Martin's lane, another Lane North from Thames street, hath but a small Part in this Ward, the greatest being in Candlewick Ward.
There are to watch in this Ward at the several Stands, every Night, besides the Constable and the Beadle, twenty five Watchmen.
The Jurymen returned by the Wardmote Inquest for this Ward, are to serve in the several Courts in Guildhall in the Month July.
This Ward hath an Alderman and his Deputy, Alderman, included in the fifteen Common Councilmen, fifteen Constables, six Scavengers, sixteen Wardmote Inquest Men, and a Beadle. It is taxed to the Fifteen in London at forty seven Pounds, and in the Exchequer at forty nine Pounds ten Shillings.
The Alderman of this Ward is William Stephenson, Esq; Mr. James Hodges, Deputy, Mr. Coles Child, Mr. Richard Walkden, Mr. William Post, Mr. Cornelius Owen, Mr. Benjamin Silcock, Mr. Thomas Home, Mr. Thomas Machen, Mr. Thomas Gillmore, Mr. James Howard, Mr. John Wathen, Mr. Clement Coderoy, Mr. Joseph Gonfon, Mr. George Baskerville, and Mr. Gabriel Wright, Common Councilmen.
The most remarkable Things in this Ward are,
First, Two Parish Churches, 1. St. Magnus, Meltings. and, 2. St. Bennet's Grace or Grass Church. Four Churches Parishes, 1. of St. Magnus, 2. of St. Margaret, in New Fish street, 3. of St. Leonard Eastcheap, and, 4. of St. Bennet Grass church; of which more particularly in our Parochial History.
Secondly, Fishmongers Hall, situate in Thames street, about an hundred and fifty Yards West of the Bridge. It is a curious and capacious Building of Brick and Stone. By the Street you enter thro' a handsome Passage paved with Free stone, which leads into a large, square Court, paved in the same Manner, encompassed by the great Hall, the Court Room for the Assistants, and other grand Apartments; with Galleries, supported by Columns and Arches of the Ionick Order, and the Statue of Sir William Walworth. But the Front next the Thames, which has been lately repaired and beautified, at a very extraordinary Expense, exceeds every Thing of its Kind in this City, and yields a most graceful and pleasant Prospect ; with a magnificent double Flight of Stone Stairs on the Wharf.
Thirdly, The Monument, erected on the East Side of Fish street hill in a Square, open to the Street, to perpetuate the Remembrance of the dreadful Fire of London, in the Year 1666.
This fine Piece of Architecture is the Design of that great Genius Sir Christopher Wren. It is undoubtedly the finest modern Column in the World, and in some Respects may vie with the most famous of Antiquity, being twenty four Feet higher than Trajan's Pillar at Rome.
This Column is of the Dorick Order, fluted ; whose Altitude is two hundred and two Feet from the Ground, the greatest Diameter of the Shaft or Body of the Column is fifteen Feet, the Ground bounded by the Plinth, or lowest Part Of the Pedestal, twenty eight Feet square, and the Pedestal is in Altitude forty Feet, all of Portland Stone: Within is a large Stair cafe of black Marble, containing three hundred and forty five Steps, ten Inches and an Half broad, and six Inches Risers; and a Balcony within thirty two Feet of the very Top, where is a curious and spacious gilded Flame.
Inscription for the great Pillar or Monument of London, according to the first Conception of Sir C W (Christopher Wren).
Made English thus":
" In the Year of 'Christ 1666, the second Day of September, Eastward from hence, at the Distance of two hundred and two Feet, (the Height of this Column) about Midnight, a most terrible Fire broke out, which, driven on by a high Wind, not only wasted the adjacent Parts, but also Places very remote, with incredible Noise and Fury : It consumed eighty nine Churches, the City Gates, Guildhall, many publick Structures, Hospitals, Schools, Libraries, a vast Number of stately Edifices, thirteen thousand two hundred Dwelling houses, four hundred Streets ; of twenty six Wards, it utterly destroyed fifteen, and left eight others shattered and half burnt. The Ruins of the City were four hundred and thirty six Acres, from the Tower by the Thames Side to the Temple Church, and from the North East Gate along the City Wall to Holborn Bridge. To the Estates and Fortunes of the Citizens it was merciless, but to their Lives very favourable, that it might in all Things resemble the last Conflagration of the World.
The Destruction was sudden ; for in a small Space of Time the same City was seen most flourishing, and reduced to nothing.
Three Days after, when this fatal Fire had baffled all human Counsels and Endeavours in the Opinion of all, as it were, by the Will of Heaven, it stopped, and on every Side was extinguished."
The Damage done by this Fire is thus computed : Burned and consumed twelve thousand houses within the Walls of the City, and above one thousand more without the Walls, but all of them within the Freedom and Liberty of London; that is, in all, thirteen thousand, or, as others, thirteen thousand two hundred houses. There were also destroyed the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, which at that Time was new building, and, as to the Stone Work, almost finished; also eighty seven Parish Churches, and six consecrated Chapels ; most of the principal and publick Edifices; as, the great Guildhall, wherein were nine several Courts belonging to the City ; the Royal Exchange; the King's Custom house ; Justice hall, where the Sessions were kept eight or nine Times in the Year for the Trial of Murderers, Felons, and other Malefactors ; the four Prisons ; four of the principal Gates of the City ; and fifty Halls of Companies, most of which were most magnificent Structures and Palaces.
The whole Damage sustained by this Fire is almost incredible: Yet, to make some Computation, that which follows is the Method that hath been taken :
Fourthly, The Water Works, by which the City is supplied with Thames water, is a lofty wooden Edifice at the North West End of the Bridge, behind the Front houses, which, by Vessels, Iron Chains, &c. forceth the New Water through Pipes into a Cistern placed at the Top thereof which from thence descends by Pipes to the Bottom, to be conveyed thro' other Pipes, under the Pavements of the City.
Fifthly, at the End of Crooked lane, facing the Prime Monument yard, was in ancient Days a Palace built chiefly of Stone, in which Edward the Black Prince, Son to King Edward III. held his Residence, to the Honour of this City. It was afterwards let out for an Inn, and was known by the Name of the Black bull Inn.
And Last updated on: Friday, 15-Sep-2023 12:27:39 BST