City of London - The Square Mile, London
Number 33 Cock lane was long ago demolished , which is a great pity because in early 1762 a ghost story unfolded which was to be known as Scratching Fanny of Cock Lane!:......
The Story...The Cock Lane Ghost is the true story of a series of events that took place in London in the 1760s. Businessman, William Kent fell foul of a powerful Norfolk family when he eloped with their daughter, Frances Lynes. The couple fled to London and took lodging in Cock Lane. When Frances died, a mysterious ghostly conspiracy against Kent began, gathering so much momentum that it almost led to him being hung for murder. At the heart of the affair was a story of sexual infatuation, conspiracy, accusations of murder and rape and the alleged return of the victim from beyond the grave to point out her killer.
Temple Bar is the point in London where Fleet Street, City of London, becomes the Strand, Westminster, and where the City of London traditionally erected a barrier to regulate trade into the city.Horace Jones, Architect and Surveyor to the City of London, designed a memorial to mark Temple Bar which was unveiled in 1880.
The pedestal is decorated with statues of Queen Victoria and The Prince of Wales, the last royals to enter the City through Wren's original 17th century Temple Bar gate .
Don’t look up if ever you enter St Peter’s church on Cornhill, as you may be shocked by three ferocious statues, their faces contorted in fury.
One of them is also spitting, another sticks its fingers up in rage. They’re known as the Cornhill Devils, and they protrude from the Victorian office block above the Cornhill Men’s Outfitters.
But why such malice? Late in the 19th century, so the story goes, one vicar achieved a small victory over the developers when he examined the plans for a new neighbouring building and found that it would intrude fractionally onto the church’s property. The architect was forced at great cost to redraw the plans and, by way of revenge, he added three fiendish terracotta figures, two large and one small, glaring down from the upper reaches of his new building. One of the grotesques is said to have been modelled on the offending vicar!
In 1224 four Franciscan friars came to London. For 15 days they stayed as guests of the Dominicans and then took a house on Cornhill given to them by John Travers, Sheriff of London. The following summer the friars were given land in Newgate Street close to the City abattoir by John Ewin, mercer. It was here that they built a monastery in 1225.
The heart of Queen Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III, was buried here in 1291 and from then on royal patronage was assured. The simple life of the Greyfriars, so called because of the colour of their habits, and of whom there were 80 by 1243, attracted many admirers and benefactors, notably Margaret, second Queen of Edward I. Margaret began rebuilding the church in 1306 but she died before the work was completed and was buried before the high altar. Other benefactors included Queen Isabella of Provence, wife of Edward II, and Queen Philippa of Hainault, the 14-year-old wife of Edward III. The church was finished in 1348 and was second in size only to St Paul's.
In 1349 about 100 friars succumbed to the Black Death. Among those buried here were Queen Margaret (1318), Queen Isabella, (1358), her daughter Joan de la Tour, Queen of Scotland (1362) and Elizabeth Barton, the Holy Maid of Kent, who was hanged at Tyburn in 1534. Many people were buried in monks' habits, as was the custom of the time, to ease their passage to heaven.
A library was built between 1421 and 1425 at the expense of Richard Whittington, Lord Mayor of London, who presented it with £400 worth of books.
After the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1535-1540) the church was used for storing the spoils of war taken from the French and most of the monastic buildings were turned into private dwellings. All the tombs and gravestones were destroyed in 1547, and the alabaster, marble and brass sold for £50 to the then Lord Mayor, Sir Martin Bowes. The church was renamed Christ Church and a parish formed for it from the parishes of St Nicholas Shambles, St Ewin and St Sepulchre. The parishioners only used the choir of the church, as the King's printer had set up his presses in the nave. The decaying buildings were repaired in 1552 and the following year Christ's Hospital, a school for 'poor fatherless children' and others, was established here.
Christ's Hospital was founded by Edward VI ten days before his death. The distinctive long blue coats and yellow stockings, which the pupils still wear, date from this time. The colour of the stockings is said to have been chosen to keep away the rats from the boy's ankles. Before long there was a school attached to the orphanage, with a grammar master, writing master, music master, two other teachers and a matron for the girls, who became fewer and fewer as time went on. The school was, and still is, known as the Blue Coat School because of the uniform. In the 17th century the children were often hired out as mutes for funerals.
The church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and some of the hospital and school buildings were damaged. The church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren between 1677 and 1687 on the foundations of the old chancel and the hospital and school buildings repaired. It was one of Wren's most expensive churches costing £11, 778, 9s, 6d. Wren put steep sided galleries inside the church, presumably so that the masters of the hospital could keep a watchful eye on their charges. The library, which had escaped the fire, was faced with brick in 1778.
In 1897 the school moved to Horsham, Sussex and the remaining monastic buildings were destroyed soon after when the General Post Office was extended over the site.
Apart from the steeple, which dates from 1704, Christ Church was destroyed during the Blitz of World War II. The ruins are preserved in a landscaped garden on the site in Newgate Street.
Two rival ghosts are said to haunt the ruins of the church.
The site is an ancient burial ground where lie the remains of ''The She-Wolfe of France', Queen Isabella, wife of the English King Edward II. With her lover, Roger Mortimer, she instigated the deposing of the King and had him imprisoned at Berkley Castle. On the night of 21 December 1327, he was brutally murdered by way of a 'kind of horned funnel.....thrust into his fundament through which a red hot spit was run up into his bowels'. His screams could be heard outside the castle walls, and are still heard to this day on the anniversary of the horrific event. Following Mortimer's execution by the king's son, Edward III, in 1330, Isabella retreated into polite retirement. She died in 1358, her last years having been racked by violent dementia. She was buried at Greyfriar's with the heart of Edward II placed on her breast. At twilight, her beautiful, angry ghost flits amongst the trees and bushes, clutching the still beating heart of her murdered husband before her.
Lady Alice Hungerford was considered a great beauty of the Tudor age and she too murdered her spouse, in her case, with a lethal dose of poison. In 1523 she paid for her crime by being boiled alive. She was laid to rest at Greyfriar's, where her beautiful, serene phantom was soon drifting through the cloisters and aisles of the monastery and following its dissolution through the burial ground that sprang up on its site.
And so the two ladies went about their nocturnal rambles, each blissfully unaware of each other's existence, until one night, in Victorian times, they met among the tombs. Eyeing each other with curiosity; then surprise and then finally hostility, they fought over their territory. Bemused witnesses could only look on in terror at the ghostly squabbling. One, a worker in the burial ground, was so frightened by the experience that he fled the scene and 'never......came back to collect his pay'.
The City of London has various meanings, not all of which are entirely true. While Metropolitan London may be frequently referred to as a city, it is in fact a collection of municipal entities that have been fused together to form one of the world’s larger cities. The City of London is a small unit at the heart of the metropolitan area, one that houses a massive financial and legal industry. The City is therefore synonymous with the financial industry in the United Kingdom, although Canary Wharf has grown to become an important component of sector as well. The City of London has been in existence since the Anglo-Saxon era and, as a result, has often been the focus of construction and development activities in the heart of London. Despite this long history, the majority of the architecture here is not long-lived. Sections of the city’s Roman Wall remain, but otherwise the older buildings are from the Renaissance era or later, with a large collection of churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The City’s importance for the country’s financial system has meant that it was both subject to significant bombing during WWII and reconstruction campaigns, introducing a fair amount of modern architecture into the area, despite attempts to ensure that historical trends were maintained.
Christopher Wren designed St. Bride's Church in 1672 and has had a long connection with journalists and newspapers as it is in Fleet Street. Worshippers date back to the eighth century and as St. Bridget of Ireland it was probably founded by Celtic Monks. Wynkyn De worde set up a printing press next door in 1500 and London was the only city allowed by law to have a printing press until 1695.
There is a police phone box still standing in St. Martins Le Grand, one of only a few left. Unfortunately it is no longer used but many years ago there were many to be found in the capital and were used to summon the police. The first police box in Britain was installed in Glasgow in 1891 but were not found in London until 1928 and increased to 685 by 1953 and eventually phased out in 1970 as the police were issued two way radios.
Note that Doctor Who had a bigger version than the one in the photograph.
Only a plaque on the wall at 1/2 Fleet Street reminds us of where the Devil's Tavern used to be, a favourite watering hole of Samuel Pepys and Doctor Samuel Johnson. The tavern was mentioned in a play in 1563 and the tavern sign depicted St.Dunstan pulling the devil by the nose with pincers. Upstairs used to be a club called the Oracle of Apollo , but more interestingly Johnson wrote " The Devil is an Asse" after drinking a bad beer at the Devils Tavern. The tavern came under hard times and was demolished in 1787 when it was sold to a bank.
Walking up Wood Street towards London Wall you will come across a tower in the middle of the street which is all that remains of St. Albans Church which possibly dates back to the 8th century during King Offa of Mercia's time, but was rebuilt in 1865, but destroyed during the Blitz leaving only the tower standing. It was dedicated to the first Christian English martyr, St. Alban, who was decapitated by the Romans around 300 A.D. The tower is actually a private house in the middle of the road. As recently as 2006 many of the clergy wanted St. Alban to replace St. George as Patron saint of England.
A blue plaque reminds us that the conduit supplied water to the people in 1471 onwards. The city installed 15 of them before the Great Fire. It was damaged during the Greta Fire but repaired afterwards and supplied free water to the people in the vicinity of the Guildhall until the 18th century. the plaque is on the wall at Aldermanbury Garden near the Guildhall.
This church at the intersection of King William St and Lombard St stands on ground that has been used for worship for over 2,000 years as traces of Roman and Pagan religious buildings have been found underneath the church as well as a Anglo-Saxon wooden structure. This is the third church on the site and was built in 1716
Mansion House,originally housed the stock market was built in the mid 17th century is the official residency of the Lord Mayor of London, Six columns support the sculpture which has a symbolic figure representing the city of London who is tramping on her enemies.The main entrance is called the Egyptian Hall and has many columns and sculptures. As the Lord Mayor is the chief magistrate Mansion House has its own court of law with 11 cells, one of which held Emmeline Parkhurst, the women's suffragette.
The stock market stood on the site for nearly 500 years
The Bank of England was established in 1694 and is the world's second oldest bank, and has had the headquarters in Threadneedle street since 1734. The bank is sometimes known as "the old lady of Threadneedle Street" as the ghost of Sarah Whitehead (the black nun) used to haunt the bank's garden. The main reason to visit the building would be to visit the museum which is free (10 am -5 pm Monday-Friday). In the museum you have the opportunity of lifting a 13 kg bar of gold, but you won't be able to run off with it as you have to put your hand through a hole to lift it, and the gold bar cannot pass through the hole. Your only chance to have £330,000 in your hand!!! As well as the history of the bank you will be able to see old notes, coins and even weapons that were used to defend the bank.
Leadenhall Market dates back from the 14th century and was one of the oldest markets in the City of London. The market is open daily from 7am selling fresh food produce but there are quite a few upmarket shops selling clothes and ornaments. It is quite a tourist attraction now with many cafes/restaurants by one of the the entrances. The roof structure is painted green, maroon and cream, and the floors cobble stones,
The tower of All Hallows Staining is all that remains of a church that was on this site since 1321, and was originally called Staining Church (stone church). The St. Olave's Church and All Hallows Staining were at one time combined, but in 1870 the All Hallows was demolished, only leaving the tower. The Worshipful of Clothworkers maintain the tower, but Princess Elizabeth, later queen Elizabeth I donated the bell ropes as she said it was music to her ears when she was imprisoned in the Tower of London.