Survey of London: Volume 5, St Giles-in-The-Fields, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1914.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
LXV.—NORTH OF DENMARK PLACE.
To the north of Denmark Place the frontage to High Street seems to have been fully built on before 1658 (Plate 3). Originally the garden of the Hospital extended as far as here, for the limits of the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster, are described in 1222, as stretching along what now Oxford Street as far as the Hospital garden. (fn. 1) In somewhat later times the principal feature of this triangular plot was The Crown inn and brewhouse, which is referred to as early as 1452 (fn. 2) as "a brewhouse called The Crowne" with six cottages adjoining. It will be seen, therefore, that even at that date there were a number of buildings on this plot. Included in the portion of the Hospital's property which fell to the share of Katherine Legh were "one close rent xijs and iiijd by the yere goyng oute of a mese called The Crowne, and one chieff rente of vis by yere goyng oute of a brew house there, nowe so late in the tenure or occupacion of one Richard Lightfoot." When next heard of The Crown brewhouse, with a close of 3 acres (fn. 3) and an orchard and garden adjoining, belonged to John Vavasour, whose son Nicholas in 1615 sold it to William Bowes. (fn. 4)
At a spot immediately opposite The Crown at one time stood the pound, and according to Maitland (fn. 5), this was also the situation of the gallows, between the date of their removal from the Elms in Smithfield about the year 1413, and their further subsequent removal to Tyburn. It does not appear, however, that Maitland had any authority for the statement as to the removal of the gallows from Smithfield. As regards the further removal to Tyburn, if it ever took place it must have been before the year 1478, when it is quite certain that the gallows were already in the position occupied by them for centuries to come, viz., opposite the southern end of Edgware Road. There is, indeed, a very considerable probability that this was the case even in Edward I.'s reign, (fn. 6) and it seems improbable that a permanent gallows ever stood in St. Giles at all. (fn. 7)
The pound was originally (fn. 8) in High Street, St. Giles, just to the west of where Endell Street now issues, and was removed thence in 1656 to the junction of High Street, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. (fn. 9)