|Tower Street Ward. Modern State thereof. ||53
great Length from East to West, even to Puddle Dock, which is
about a Mile, but lies in several Wards. The Part in this Ward
goeth no farther than Billingsgate.
The present Names of the Keys or Wharfs lying on the South Side,
beginning at the Tower Dock, are Brewers Key, Galley Key, Custom
House Key, Potters Key, Wiggins Key, Ralphs Key, Temple Key,
Little Dice Key, Great Dice Key, Smarts Key, and then Billingsgate;
which said Keys are all made use of for the lading and unlading of
Merchants Goods; and some of these Keys are more considerable
than others, particularly Smarts Key for Grain, &c.
The present Keys and Wharfs.
But above all is the Custom House: Which being consumed by the
Fire of London 1666, is rebuilt in a much more magnificent and
uniform Manner, a Prospect of which I have here inserted; being
now a large and graceful Pile of Buildings fronting the Water side,
very commodious, as well for Commssioners and the several
Officers and Clerks above Stairs, as the Warehouses underneath,
and the Cranes for the landing and lading of Merchants Goods; this
being the grand Office for the Management of the Customs
throughout the Kingdom. This House was thus stately built by
King Charles II. with the Expence of above 10000l. And of this
Custom House see more, where the Trade of the City is treated of.
The Custom House.
But to proceed with our Description of the Places: On the North
side of this Thames Street, beginning towards Billingsgate, are
these Courts, viz. Dog Tavern Court, a very handsome and genteel
Place, and well inhabited. Wichelers Yard, taken up in Warehouses
for Stowing of Merchants Goods. Nags Head Court but ordinary;
and here is kept the Coal-meters Office. Smithers Coffee-House
being in a Court taken up by the said Coffee-House, and hath a
Passage into Water Lane. Vine Court Warehouse taken up also by
Dog Tavern Court.
Nags Head Court.
Smithers Coffee House.
Vine Court Warehouse.
Bear Lane, comes out of Tower Street, and turns into Thames
Street, a Place of small Account: In this Lane are these Courts, viz.
Glocester Court, a pretty handsome Place, with a Free Stone
Pavement, and hath a Passage into Priests Alley. Horn Alley, but
indifferent, hath a Passage into Thames Street, another into Rose
Alley, and another into Chitterling Alley, both indifferent Places.
Custom House Court, a good handsome Place, with a Free Stone
Pavement: At the upper end of this Court is another small Court so
called, which hath a Passage through the Ship Tavern into Water
Custom House Court.
Water Lane, a very great Thorough-fare, occasioned by the Custom
House, as being the ready Passage to it, and is for the generality
taken up by Publick Houses: This Lane is so called as running
down to the Water-Gate by the Custom-House; but formerly it was
called Sporiar Lane. In this Lane is Orance Court, having but two
Houses; the rest taken up in Warehouses. And here is Trinity
House, a good handsome large Building, in which House is also
kept the Ballast Office.
Harp Lane comes out of Tower Street, and falls into Thames Street,
a Place much pestered with Carrs, by reason of their passing this
way to the Custom House Keys, which is no small Annoyance to
the Inhabitants. On the East side is Bakers Hall, some time since
the Dwelling-House of John Chichley, Esq; Chamberlain of the City
of London. On the West side of this Harp Lane is Cross Lane,
which is but ordinary, and leads to St. Mary Hill. St. Dunstan's Hill,
formerly called Church Lane, runs as far as St. Dunstan's
Churchyard, and from thence down unto Thames Street. On the
West side of the said Church is
another Lane, called Church Lane, which turneth into another
towards St. Mary Hill, and is called Fowl Lane. This St. Dunstan's
Hill is a Place well inhabited by Merchants, especially about the
Church; and on the East side, over against the Church, is Coffin
Court, which is but narrow, and not over well inhabited.
St. Dunstan's Hill.
Then St. Dunstan's Church, called St. Dunstan's in the East, a
Peculiar belonging to the Jurisdiction of Canterbury. Anciently the
Prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, was Patron. It was burnt down
in the Year 1666. Lady Williamson contributed largely and nobly
towards the rebuilding. It is now a very spacious and fair Church:
The Steeple also hath been of late years taken down, and strongly
built up again, and furnished with a very musical Ring of Bells.
St. Dunstan's Church.
Adjoyning to this Church Northwards, is Church Alley, which hath
a handsome Free Stone Paving, and pretty good Buildings on the
Side fronting the Church; and this Alley leadeth into Idle Lane,
which comes out of the West End of Tower Street, and falls into
Thames Street: On the West Side of this Lane is Cross Lane, which
falls into St. Mary Hill; by this Church is Priests Alley, also of no
Mincing Lane, anciently called Mincheon, is garnished with very
good Houses, which for the generality are taken up by Merchants,
and Persons of Repute, and the Street is broad and strait coming
out of Tower Street and going up into Fenchurch Street.
Here is Clothworkers Hall, a very large and graceful Building, with
a large Court-yard paved with Free Stone. This Hall is oft made
use of by the Lord Maior, or one of the Sheriffs, during the time of
their respective Office, as being commodious for that Occasion; and
this brings in a Benefit to the Company. In this Lane, or rather
Street, is Bell Yard, which is a good handsome Place.
Mark Lane, or Mart Lane, being so called from a Mart there
formerly kept. A Place now well inhabited, with divers large
Houses for Merchants; but for the generality all old Timber
Houses: The greatest part of this Lane is in this Ward, to wit, from
Tower Street unto that part where the Post and Chain is placed
thwart the Street, which is above the West End of Hart Street: And
in this part of the Lane are these Places, viz. Sugar-Loaf Alley,
which is but indifferent, over against which is the old Navy Office.
Well Alley, being both small and narrow. Pick-axe Alley also
small; and Star Alley, which is but ordinary.
Sugar Loaf Alley.
Hart Street is but short, coming out of Mart Lane, and falls into
Crutched Fryers by St. Olave Hart Street Church, belonging to the
Diocese of London: A Churchyard behind it. Over against this
Church is Crosseys, or Angel Court, which is a pretty open Place
with good Buildings well inhabited.
St. Olave Hartstreet Church.
Crosleys, or Angel Court.
Seething, or Sything Lane, runneth Northwards from Tower Street
unto Crutched Fryers. It is now a Place of no great Account; but
amongst the Inhabitants some are Merchants. Here is the Navy
Office; but the chief Gate for Entrance is out of Crutched Fryers.
Some part of the Building being in Aldgate Ward, it is there
treated of. And in this Lane are these Courts, and Places of Name,
viz. John Deveres Yard, pretty broad in the Middle, but ordinary,
with a narrow Passage into Mark Lane. Carr Yard, a pretty
handsome open Place, but meanly inhabited. Green Arbour Court,
a pretty large Place, containing two Courts, one within another,
and both bearing the same Name. Star Alley, newly built for
Warehouses and Tenements. Black Dog Alley
John Deveres Yard.
Green Arbour Court.
Black Dog Alley.