Thursday, April 23, 2009

Question from Monica - Thames street in London

Apparently several courtiers owned houses on Thames Street. Where is this today and are there any signs of Tudor residences?


Marilyn R said...

There is more than one Thames Street, but the one you mean is in areas EC3 and EC4.Nowadays it is known as Upper and Lower Thames Street and stretches from the site of the old Blackfriars Monastery to Tower Hill, with London Bridge in the middle.There will probably be plaques on some buildings saying what once stood on the site, but offhand I cannot recall having seen any.

Sadly this area has suffered very badly - first in the Great Fire of 1666, then in the Blitz of World War II and then at the hands of the Planners in the 1960's, so there is little left of the medieval city.Today Thames Street is at the centre of Britain's commercial activities, the area known as the City, but in earlier times it was home to many noble families and included the royal residence of Baynard's Castle - there is still a Castle Baynard Street.

The best depiction of what it looked like is probablty the 1616 engraving by Claes Jan Visscher - the section you need is between the Tower and St. Paul's.If you type in London Visscher you will find the engraving.

Should you fancy following in the footsteps of the old nobility, a modest one-bedroom apartment on Upper Thames Street with river views will set you back about £350,000, while 2 bedrooms will be between £500,000 and £700,000.

These sites might be helpful:-

Marilyn R said...

Monica - I had forgotten about "Collage" which is the City of London Library and Art Gallery Electronic, which has thousands of online images including the Guildhall collection of old prints.

(Hope you haven't put in an offer on the £350,000 apartment I mentioned either, as I see it's in a basement, so there will be no views at all! There is, however, a three bedroomed job with roof terrace and views of Tate Modern and the Globe Theatre at £4,500,000 - but a parking space for one car will cost you an extra £125,000...)

Kathy said...

Another good thing to try is to go to U K Google, find the street(s) you want in London and learn how to use the street view. Visually, it's really close to walking down the street and will give you a good idea of what is visible on the outside of buildings. I've gotten quite addicted to this!

DeclareJeNos said...

I agree with Marilyn, ESPECIALLY about the houseprices!

Apart from churches/remains (most of which are Wren ie. post 1666), there is very little on Upper/Lower Thames Street over a hundred years old.

St Mary Somerset (tower only, Wren)
St Benet (Wren)
St Magnus the Martyr (Wren)
All Hallows by the Tower ("survived" fire/wars but extensive rebuilding)

Marilyn R said...

90% of the modern developers of this street should be put in the Tower for crimes against architecture.

DeclareJeNos said...


Pity the poor London Marathon runners who had to go down there today... No wonder the winner broke the record -his final burst of speed was obviously an attempt to get away from Upper/Lower Thames Street as quickly as possible!

Monica said...

Thanks for the detailed responses. I've tried all avenues now and nothing seems to remain, not even a plague. At least this saves me a hunt in person and I've now seen pictures of it as it was in Henry VIII's reign.