Preface

Sponsor

English Heritage

Publication

Author

G. H. Gater and E. P. Wheeler (editors)

Year published

1937

Supporting documents

Pages

21-22

Citation Show another format:

'Preface', Survey of London: volume 18: St Martin-in-the-Fields II: The Strand (1937), pp. XXI-XXII. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68265 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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Contents

PREFACE

This, the second volume of the Survey of London dealing with the former parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, contains an account of the western end of the Strand and of the streets leading from it to the river. The volume begins with an account of the hospital of St. Mary Rounceval, which was built just north of Scotland Yard in the reign of Henry III, and it tells the story of the large mansions which formerly bordered the river bank—Northumberland House, Hungerford House, Norwich Inn (afterwards York House), Durham Place and Carlisle Inn (the site of Salisbury House)—and of their subsequent replacement by streets of houses. Descriptions are given of the numberous seventeenth- and eighteenth-century houses which survive in this area, many of which have interesting associations. In particular mention must be made of No. 12, Buckingham Street, which was the home of Samuel Pepys for nine years and which still retains its original staircase. The Adelphi, the most important group of buildings in the neighbourhood, has formed the subject of several books, but various features of interest are noted here which have not previously been recorded in print.

During the mediæval period the river formed London's highway and the mansions bordering the Strand fronted the river, the main access to them being by means of river stairs. The ground near the road was used for stabling and servants' quarters, but with the increase of road transport the street frontage began to appreciate in value and from the fifteenth century onward it was leased out to small traders and innholders. Like most ancient streets the Strand was well provided with inns on both sides of the way and it is interesting to note how the inn yards developed into courts and alleys, eventually becoming public throughfares. Spur Alley (afterwards Craven Street), Brewers (now Hungerford Lane) and most of the small courts shown on eighteenth-century maps on the north side of the Strand were formed in this way.

The church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the buildings around Trafalgar Square will be dealt with in a subsequent volume which will complete the survey of this interesting parish.

His Grace the Duke of Northumberland very kindly allowed photographs to be taken of pictures and furniture now at Syon House to illustrate the section which deals with Northumberland House, and the manuscripts of the Marquess of Salisbury preserved at Hatfield House have been consulted in connection with the chapters on Salisbury House and Burleigh House. Valuable information for the history of the area has been obtained from records preserved in the library of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster and in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The records in the custody of the Commissioners of Crown Lands, the Westminster city Council, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Institute of British Architects have also been freely used. Thanks are also due to the librarian of the Pepysian Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge, to the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, and to the London Society for granting permission for the reproduction of drawings under their care. Mr. Hayward, the surveyor of the Adelphi Estate, and Mr. Arthur Bolton, F.S.A., the curator of the Soane Museum, have both placed their expert knowledge of the neighbourhood and of the records relating to it at the disposal of the Council, and their assistance and that of the officials at the Public Record Office and the British Museum is much appreciated.

The Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A., F.S.A., has kindly revised the heraldic blazons and drawn the marginal shields for the volume. The historical part of the volume and its general editorship are the work of Miss Ida Darlington, M.A. (Lond.), an assistant in my department. The Architect to the Council desires that his appreciation shall be recorded of the work done in connection with the preparation of the volume by Mr. W. Dathy Quirke, A.R.I.B.A.

G.H. GATER, Clerk of the London County Council.

The County Hall,
Westminster Bridge, S.E.I. November, 1937.