Gould Buildings - Gravel Lane, Houndsditch

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

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Gould Buildings

At Holbom Bridge, 1597 (H. MSS. Com. 7th Rep. 541).

Not further identified.

Gould Square

East out of Cooper's Row. In Aldgate Ward (O.S. 25, in, 1880).

First mention : "Gould's Square" (P.C. 1732).

Other names : "Gold Court" and "Gold Square" (Strype, 1720). "Gold's Square," Rocque, 1746). "Chain Alley" (O. and M. 1677) occupied part of the site at this time.

Site now covered by the London and Blackwall Railway line, which at first intersected it and afterwards caused its final demolition.

Named after the owner or builder.

Goutere (le)

Tenement in parish of St. Olave versus Turr in the possession of John de Bohun, E. of Hereford (Ch. I. p.m. 10 Ed. III.).

Not identified.

Govayr Lane

See Gofairlane.

Goveres Lane

See Gofairlane.

Grace Court

In Fenchurch Street (P.C. 1732-Dodsley, 1761).

Not named in the maps.


Mentioned in Brihtmaer's grant of All Hallows Church. The description is as "at Gerschereche," 1053 (Thorpe Dip. Ang. Sax. p. 372).

Other forms : "Garscherche," 34 H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 7315). "Grasehirche," 1307 (Ct. H.W. I. 186). These are the general forms of the name in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Is it to be identified with All Hallows Gracechurch or St. Benet Gracechurch?

The references seem to suggest St. Benet. See the charter in Thorpe quoted above, in which All Hallows is separately mentioned, the description in Ct. H.W. I. 202 and 222, II. 8, together with the position of St. Benet's at the junction of Gracechurch Street and Fenchurch Street, where the cornmarket was held, 7 Ed. I. (Ct. H.W. I. 39).

See Gracechurch Market ; Benet (St.) Gracechurch.

Derivation of name : From O.E. "gaers," "gers," "graes"=grass, a blade of grass, herb, hay.

The metathesis "er" to "re" or "ar" to "re" is of constant occurrence in the development of a language.

Gracechurch Market

There are frequent references in the Liber Albus and the City Letter Books to the sale of corn at "Graschirche" during the 14th and 15th centuries, and it appears from a proclamation of 1374 that there was a regular market held there at that time, for it was provided in the proclamation that those who brought corn to the City for sale from Cambridgeshire and the neighbouring counties should take their corn to be sold "a la Marche sur la Pavement a Graschirche" (Lib. Albus I. 433, and Cal. L. Bk. G. p. 330).

The market must have been held by St. Benet Gracechurch at the junction of Gracechurch Street with Fenchurch Street and Lombard Street, and from Lib. Albus I. 247, it appears there was a regular scale of customs levied on the corn, etc., brought to "Gerchirche" or "Graschirche" for sale.

The existence of such a market for hay, corn, etc., in early times suggests the derivation of the names of some of the neighbouring churches and streets "Graschirch," "Fanchurch," from O.E. "gaers," "gers"=a blade of grass, herb, hay, and L. "faenum"=hay.

Stow speaks of a Herb Market there (S. 214).

Gracechurch Street

South from Cornhill and Leadenhall Street to King William Street and Fish Street Hill (P.O. Directory). In Bishopsgate and Bridge Wards Within. A few houses on the eastern side are in Lime Street Ward.

Earliest mention : "Garscherchestrate," 1284 (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 83).

Other forms : "Grescherchestrete," 1329 (Ct. H.W. I. 353). "Gressecherchestrete," 1361 (ib. II. 28). "Grascherchestrete," 1347-8 (ib. I. 501). "Gracechirche strete," alias "Graschirche strete," 16 H. VI. 1437 (Cal. P.R. H. VI. 1436-41, p. 143). "Gracious Street" (V. Agas). "Graciousstreate," 1526 (Ct. H.W. II. 631). "Graces strete," 1558-9 (ib. 669). "Grasse street" (S. 165). "Grasse streete," alias "Gracechurchstreete," 12 Chas. I. 1636 (L.C.C. Deeds, Harben Bequest, 1600-1700, No. 37).

It is evident from the forms set out above that the earliest form of the name was "Garscherchestrete," and that the later corruptions were by metathesis "Gres-cherch" and "Gras-cherche," while such forms as "Gracious strete" and "Grasse street" did not appear until the 16th century.

Called Gracechurch Street when it was rebuilt after the Fire.

The name of the street was derived from the church of "Garschurch" (q.v.).

See Benet (St.) Gracechurch and Gracechurch.

Walls discovered at the south-west corner of Fenchurch Street built across Gracechurch Street at a depth of 22 ft., and at Corbet Court on the opposite side of Gracechurch Street (Arch. LX. 224 et seq). At Nag's Head Court the gravel is reached at a depth of 16 ft. below the surface (Tite, xviii.).

Roman foundations found on the site of the Mercantile Bank of India on the western side of Gracechurch Street 7 ft. wide, descending to a depth of 30 ft. below the pavement. At the northern end of the street also remains of large Roman public buildings have been discovered.

Gracehurch (The Corn Market of)

House "ad bladum in foro de Gaschirche" mentioned in will of Reyner Willekin, 7 Ed. I. (Ct. H.W. I. 39).

Grace's Yard

East out of Minories at No. 46, two doors north of Swan Street (Lockie, 1810-Elmes, 1831).

Not named in the maps.

Perhaps named after the Abbey of St. Mary Graces there.

Grainger's Rents

North out of Paul's Alley, in Cripplegate Ward Without (Rocque, 1746-Boyle, 1799).

"Grangers Rents, Barbican," in Strype, ed. 1755, and Boyle, 1799.

Part of site now covered by Cotton Street.

Named after the owner or builder.

Grand Junction Street

South out of Temple Street to Grand Junction Wharf, within the precinct of Whitefriars, in Farringdon Ward Without (O.S. 1880).

First mention : O.S. 1875.

The site has been rebuilt and is now occupied by offices and business houses.

Grand Junction Wharf

At the southern end of Grand Junction Street and Water Lane, within the precinct of Whitefriars (Horwood, 1799-O.S. 1880).

Site now covered by Tallis Street, offices, etc., and the Victoria Embankment.

Grant's Key

Between Cox's Key east and Fresh Wharf west (O. and M. 1677).

Not named in the later maps.

Grape Street

By Little Moorfields (P.C. 1732-Boyle, 1799).

Not named in the maps.

Qy.=Grub Street (q.v.).

Grasshopper Alley

North out of Fore Street, in Cripplegate Ward Without (O. and M. 1677-Boyle, 1799).

See Little Cock Alley.

The site is occupied by offices and business houses.

Name derived from the sign, which commemorates Sir Thomas Gresham's crest, as set up on the Royal Exchange.

Grasshopper Yard

North-west out of Long Lane, in Farringdon Ward Without (O. and M. 1677).

The site seems to have been afterwards occupied by Charterhouse Street, as shown in Rocque, etc., not the modern street of that name.

Grauntham Lane

South out of Thames Street to the Thames. In the parish of All Hallows the Great in Dowgate Ward (S. 233).

Earliest mention : "Granthameslane," 17 Ed. III. (Lib. Cust. II. p. 449).

In an inquisition taken at this time complaint was made that John de Grantham had closed up the lane with two great stones and two iron bars, so that, whereas it had been open to all from the "regia strata" to the Thames, there was now no ingress or egress to and fro to the injury of the community.

In 1382 permission was obtained to build a stair at the end of the lane, as being useful for obtaining water quickly, 5 Rich. II. (1382) (Cal. L. Bk. H. p. 182).

In Stow's time it was mainly occupied by a brewhouse, as before, and in later times it took the name of Brewer's Lane (q.v.).

It is said to have taken its name originally from the John de Grantham, a former owner, and Mayor of the City, 1328-9, who committed the obstruction above mentioned.

Gravel Lane, Houndsditch

East out of Houndsditch at 147, and north through Back Gravel Lane to Harrow Alley (P.O. Directory). In Portsoken Ward.

First mention : O. and M. 1677.

In 1677 and until the end of the 18th century it covered a much wider area than it does at the present time. The northern portion communicating with New Street (Hand Alley) and Middlesex Street was demolished for the erection of the extensive warehouses of the East India Company now occupied by the Port of London Authority.

It has been further curtailed by the Metropolitan Railway extensions in later years.