Brick Court - Bridewell

A Dictionary of London. Originally published by H Jenkins LTD, London, 1918.

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'Brick Court - Bridewell', in A Dictionary of London, (London, 1918) pp. . British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

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Brick Court

West out of Middle Temple Lane, within the Temple precincts (P.O. Directory).

First mention : 1674 (L. and P. Chas. II. 1673-5, p.331).

So called as being one of the earliest brick buildings erected in the Temple, 11 Eliz.

Stow calls it "Herber lane" or "brikels lane," so called of John Brikels, sometime owner thereof (S. 241).

John Brickell or Brykles, left houses in Harbour Lane to the parish of All Saints in Heywharf, with a yard adjoining the tavern called the Emperor's Head, 1440. Also other houses which in 1821 were identified as part of a sugar-house, a dwelling house and two warehouses on the east side of Brickhill lane, otherwise Brykle1s lane, in the parish of St. Martin Vintry (End. Ch. Rep. All Hallows the Great, 1903, p. 1, and Proc. in Chanc. I. 5.).

But it is not certain from this Report that Brickhill Lane and Harbour Lane are identical.

Strype says the Royal Fishery Company of England had their house in Brickhill lane (ed. 1720, I. iii. 13).

Brickbuildings Court

In Snow Hill (Dodsley, 1761).

Not named in the maps.

Brickhill Lane

South out of Upper Thames Street at No. 77 to Greenwich Street (P.O. Directory). In Vintry Ward.

Earliest mention : O. and M. 1677.

Former names : "Brickhill Alley" (Leake, 1666). "Brikels lane" (S. 241). "Herber or Herbierlane," 32 Ed. III. (MSS. D. and C. St. Paul's, Press A. Box 15). "Erber lane," 1439 (Ct. H.W. II. 487) and 1448 (ib. 516). "Harbour lane," 1440 (End. Ch. Rep. 1903, All Hallows the Great, p. 5).

But whether this was permanent, or merely coincident with the sherriff's term of office, it is not easy to determine.

Stow places the Bread Street Compter on the west side of the street, and if he is correct in this, it cannot at that date have been identical with the "Brokenselde," as no part of the west side of Bread Street lies in the parish of St. Mary Magdalene.

The name is curious, and may be compared with Brokenwharf. It suggests that the seld was at one time in a ruinous and dilapidated condition, perhaps from the same cause as led to the neglected state of the wharf (q.v.). The form of the word makes it unlikely that the name commemorated a former owner, in which case we should have expected to find the form "Brokes."

See under Selds.

Bricklayers' Court

In Coleman Street, Lothbury (Dodsley, 1761).

Qy.=Bricklington Court.

Bricklayers' Hall

South out of Leadenhall Street. In Aldgate Ward (S. 140-Elmes, 1831). Behind No. 53 (Lockie, 1810).

The Bricklayers were incorporated 1568 (Elmes, 1831).

The Hall was used also by the Silkthrowers in 1720 (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 54).

It was disused by the Bricklayers in the 18th century and employed as a synagogue for Dutch Jews (Lockie, 1810).

Later it was leased to the City of London College and called Sussex Hall.

It is now used as offices and called Sussex House (q.v.).

Bricklington Court

East out of Coleman Street near the middle, in Coleman Street Ward (Boyle, 1799).

Other forms of name : "Bricklingtons Court," (Leake, 1666). "Bricklington Court" (Hatton, 1708). "Brickenton Court" (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 64). "Brickinton Court" (Rocque, 1746).

The earliest form, viz. that given in Leake's map, 1666, seems to suggest that it may have been named after the owner of the property.

The site seems to be occupied by Coleman Street Buildings (q.v.).

Bride (St.)

On the south side of Fleet Street at No. 88, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

Earliest mention : In decree of 1222 fixing bounds of the City and Westminster. "S. Brigid,"; 18 H. III. (Lib. Albus I. 96).

Other names and forms : "S. Bride," 1280 (Ct. H.W. I. 47). "S. Brigid de Fletestrate," 1295-6 (ib. 127). "S. Brigid without Lutgate," 1310 (Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 229). "St. Brigid near to Flete Bridge," 1316 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 60). "St. Brigid the Virgin of Fletestrete," 1324 (Ct. H.W. I. 308).

Enlarged with nave and aisles west in 1480 (S. 398).

A plot of land adjoining the cemetery, 87 ft. long on the north, 57 ft. on the south, 64 ft. 8 in. on the east, and 83 ft. on the west, granted 1380 for the erection of the rectory house (Cal. P.R. Rich. II. 1377-81, p. 487). Afterwards known as Parsons Court.

Church repaired and beautified 1630-32. Burnt in the Fire 1666, and rebuilt 1680, with a steeple 235 ft. high by Sir C. Wren (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 265, 279). Repaired 1875.

The church was completely shut in by houses until the formation of St. Bride's Avenue in 1825, erected to open out the church.

A Rectory. Patrons : Abbot and convent of Westminster, after the dissolution, the Dean and Chapter.

Bride Court

North out of Fleet Street, west of Shoe Lane. In Farringdon Ward Without (O. and M. 1677-L. Guide, 1758).

"St. Bride's Court" in Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 277.

Bride Lane

South out of Fleet Street at No. 97 and east to New Bridge Street, on the east side of St Bride's Church (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

First mention : "Bridelane," 1349 (Ct. H.W. I. 557).

Other forms : "Briddeslane," 1374 (Cal. Close Rolls. Ed. III. 1374-7, p. 47). "Seint brideslane," 1379 (ib. II. 209). "Saint Brides lane," 30 Eliz. (Lond. I. p.m. III. 112).

Named after St. Bride's Church, unto which there is a passage up stone steps (Strype, L. 1720, I. iii. 279).

Bride's (St.) Alley

South out of Fleet Street, on the north side of the churchyard of St. Bride's, in Farringdon Ward Without (O. and M. 1677-Boyle, 1799).

The site is now occupied by St. Bride's Avenue, Bride Lane, and Bride's Passage (q.v.),

Bride's (St.) Avenue

South out of Fleet Street at No. 87 to St. Bride1s Church, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

Erected 1825 by the parishioners, after a fire which occurred in St. Bride's Passage in 1824, to open out a view of the church. Architect, J. B. Papworth.

In O. and M. the western portion of "St. Bride's Alley" (q.v.) occupies the site.

Bride's (St.) Churchyard

Surrounding the church (O.S. 1880). Another one shown on the west side of the new canal, south of Stonecutter Street (O. and M. 1677, and Strype, 1755).

Cemetery of the church mentioned in deed of 1380 (Cal. P.R. Rich. II. 1377-81, p. 487).

W. Rastell, the chronicler, resided in Saynt Brydys Chyrchyarde, 1534 (L. and P. H. VIII. VII. 600).

Bride's (St.) Foundation Institute

On the west side of Bride Lane. In Farringdon Ward Without (P.O. Directory).

Opened 1894.

Bride's (St.) House

See Bell's Buildings.

Bride's (St.) Street

North-west out of Ludgate Circus to Shoe Lane (P.O. Directory). In Farringdon Ward Without.

Constructed about 1869 as an approach to Holborn Viaduct. Cut through Harp Alley, Poppin's Court, Black Horse Alley, etc. (q.v.), and on site of Curriers' Alley, Milk Yard, Vine Court, etc.

Bride's (St.) Wharf

On the Thames, between Dorset Wharf east and White Friers Dock west, in Farringdon Ward Without (Horwood, 1799).

Site now covered by the Victoria Embankment (q.v.).

Bride's (St.) Workhouse

On the east side of Shoe Lane, in Farringdon Ward Without (Lockie, 1810).

Not named in the maps.

Bride's Court

West out of New Bridge Street at No. 4 to Bride Lane, in Farringdon Ward Within (P.O. Directory).

First mention : "Brides Court" (Horwood, 1799).

The name was formerly given to a court leading north out of Fleet Street (q.v.).

Former name : "Green's Rents" (q.v.).

Bride's Passage

West out of Bride Lane to St. Bride1s Avenue (P.O. Directory) and west from St. Bride1s Church to Salisbury Court (O.S. 1875). In Farringdon Ward Without, north and west of St. Bride1s Church.

First mention : Horwood, 1799.

Former name : "Bride's Alley" (q.v.).


A place erected by Henry VIII. to the west of Fleet River, between the river and Whitefriars (S. 70), c. 1522.

In 1531 Sir Wm. Weston, prior of St. John's Hospital, Clerkenwell, made a grant of one tenement and fifteen gardens, on which site parcel of the place called "Brydewell" was built, 1531 (L. and P. H. VIII. V. 120).

In 1532 an exchange was effected with the Knights of St. John of the manor of Bridewell (ib. 581).

There was a gallery from the Palace leading to the Blackfriars. The attendants of Chas. V. were entertained here (S. 397), and King Henry and Queen Katherine lodged here, 1529 (S. 398).

It was given by Edward VI. to the City for a workhouse.

Found burdensome as attracting vagrants to London. Burnt in the Fire and rebuilt 1668. Apprentices trained there. United to Bethlehem 1729, and used as a prison for vagrants, idle apprentices, etc., and house of correction.

There was a chapel in Bridewell, injured in the Fire, but rebuilt.

The name is said to have been derived from a well in the neighbourhood known as St. Bride's Well, which may be identical with a now disused well and pump built into the eastern wall of the churchyard in Bride Lane.

Sold 1863, and site laid out in streets, Bridewell Place, Tudor Street, etc.

See Bridewell Precinct.

During recent excavations in Water Street and the neighbourhood remains of brick arches have been found, and it has been suggested that these were the remains of a tower or castle which existed on this site in Norman times and later (Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. II. (1), p. 86), and are referred to by Stow in the following terms : "Another Tower or Castle also was there in the west parts of the Cittie, pertayning to the King. For I reade that in the yeare 1087, the 20 of William the first, the Cittie of London with the Church of S. Paule being burned, Mauritius, then Bishop of London, afterwards began the foundation of a new Church, whereunto king William sayeth mine Author, gave the choyce stones of this Castle standing neare to the banke of the riuer Thames, at the west end of the Citie"; (S. 69.) Stow goes on to say that this castle stood on the site of Bridewell, and after the destruction of the Tower the house was still used by the kings as a residence, and that the law courts were held there in consequence, in accordance with the practice of that time when the courts followed the person of the king and were held in his royal residence. For instance, in 1295 an agreement between the Abbot of Ramsey and Wm. de Haliwelle was made "in curia domini regis apud Sanctam Brigidam" (Cart. Mon. de Ramsey, II. 387). It afterwards fell into decay until rebuilt by Henry VIII. in 1522.

In connection with this statement it must not be forgotten that the moat of the castle included in the king's gift for the enlargement of St. Paul's is expressly stated in the Liber Custumarum to be "Baynard's Castle," so that it is doubtful whether Stow's remarks can be regarded as an authentic reference to a castle on this site. It is difficult to see how the moat of a castle on the site of Bridewell could be given for the enlargement of St. Paul's.