Temple Street - Thames (The)

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

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Temple Street

West out of Tudor Street to the Temple precincts, in Farringdon Ward Without (Rocque, 1746-O.S.1848-51).

Now called Tudor Street (q.v.).

Temple Walks

In Strype's maps east of the Temple Gardens.


Writ to prevent the carrying of victuals through " Templegate " to "Tempelbrygge" by the riverside, 48 Ed. III. 1373-4 (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.322).

Sharpe in a note says that a right of way had always existed through the great gate of the Templars and that the possessors of the Temple were bound to maintain a bridge or jetty at the waterside.

This bridge or jetty would be the Temple Stairs.

See Temple Bridge.

Ten Bell Court

South out of Snow Hill, in Farringdon Ward Without (P.C. 1732-Boyle, 1799).

Site now covered by Holborn Viaduct and its approaches.

Name derived from the sign, a peal of bells.

Tennis (le) Play

Two tenements so called in the parish of Allhallows the Less formerly belonging to St. Thomas of Acon, 1539, 31 H. VIII. (L. and P. H. VIII. XIV. (i.) p.609).

Kept by Wm. Gryffeth for use of strangers born out of the King's dominions, 34 H. VIII. 1542 (ib. XVII. p.264).

Described as on the west side of the earl of Sussex' place in 36 H. VIII. 1544 (ib. XIX. (ii.), p.84).

The earl of Sussex' place here mentioned was the Manor of the Rose (q.v.), which was granted to him 1539, and the "Tenisplace" (from Lond. I. p.m. 25 Elin. 111.62); must have been on the west side of Suffolk Lane opposite this house, afterwards the Merchant Tailors' School (q.v.).

Afterwards a Callender's, burnt down in the Fire, 26 Chas. II. 1674 (L.C.C. Deeds, Harben Bequest, 1600-1700, No.36).

Tennis Court

East out of Church Entry, in Farringdon Ward Within (O.S. 1880).

First mention : P.C. 1732.

Tennis Court Lane

See Joiners' Hall Buildings.

Tenter Alley

See Tenter Street, Moor Lane.

Tenter Grounds

There were several within the City area in early times.

In the parish of St. Margaret, Fish Street Hill, in 1383 (Ct. H.W. II. 234). In Bridge Ward Within.

Another in St. Martin Orgar Lane near Beauchamp's Inn (Cal. L. Bk. G. p.133).

Parcel of land called "Teyntours" in or near Candelwykstrete in parish of St. Mary de Abbechirche, 1465-6 (Ct. H.W. II. 554).

Some in Moorfields.

The tenter-grounds were used for stretching cloth during its manufacture.

Tenter Street

East out of Moor Lane to No.27 Moorfields (P.O. Directory). In Cripplegate Ward Without.

First mention: O.S. 1848-51.

Former names : " Tenter Alley " (O. and M. 1677-Elmes, 1821).

The site was occupied by a "Teynter Yard" in 1565 (Lond. I. p.m. II. 35), hence the name.

Tenter Street, Goodman's Fields

The four streets of this name called respectively:

"Tenter Street North," " Tenter Street South," " Tenter Street East," " Tenter Street West," enclose a square on the site occupied in former times by Goodman's Fields, and were in course of erection in 1848-51 (O.S.). Rocque's map, 1746, and Lockie, writing in 1810, represent the site as a " Tenter Ground " entered by 39 Prescot Street, and it is shown in Horwood's map, 1799, as an open space, still unbuilt on.

It seems more than probable that this land is identical with the property occupied by Benedict Spinola in 1574, consisting of 8 acres, which he converted into tenter yards and gardens (Strype, 1720, ii. 14).


After the statute of Quia Emptores, the grantee held of the grantor, who continued to be responsible to the Crown for services charged on the estate. The grantor therefore usually retained some interest in it, a claim for suit or service from the purchaser, or the payment of a quarter or more of the estimated value of the property. This head or fee-farm rent was called " census " or sometimes chief-rent, " capitalis redditus."


In Middlesex, 31 H. VIII. 1539 (L. and P. H. VIII. XIV. (1), p.421).

See Turnmill Brook.

Terrace (The)

West out of King's Bench Walk within the Temple precincts (Lockie, 1810-O.S. 1880).

Territt Court

In Duck Lane (Strype, ed. 1755-Boyle, 1799).

Qy. in West Smithfield.

Not named in the maps.

Teynter Yard

See Tenter Street.


Tenement of John Botiller, draper, in Candelwykstrete in parish of S. Mary de Abbechirche near a parcel of land called "Teyntours" belonging to Dame Katherine Street, 1465-6 (Ct. H.W. II. 554).

See Tenter Grounds.

Thacker's Court

East out of Bishopsgate Street, in Bishopsgate Ward Without, to Katherine Wheel Inn (Strype, ed. 1720 and 1755).

Not further identified.

Thacker's Court, Cock Yard

West out of Cock Yard on the west side of Bishopsgate Street, in Bishopsgate Ward Without (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 108-Boyle, 1799).

Called "Thackets Court" in Lond. Guide, 1758, and Boyle.

The site is now occupied by the Great Eastern Railway lines.

Thames (The)

Stow says the Thames rises in Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, but this is not really the case.

Harrison in his " Description of Britain " describes its source as in the side of an hill in the plains of Cotswold, about one mile from Tetbury, but the stream is so small, being often dried up in the summer, that the assertion is disputed and its source is said to be from the pool above Kemble.

Camden gives the source as a copious spring called "Thames head" near the village of Tariton, about two miles south-west of Cirencester. This corresponds with the modern

source of the Thames" as shown in the Atlas of the English Counties. Camden says another source suggested is at Cobberley (Cubberly), at a place called Seven Wells Head, but that the former opinion is the more prevalent (Britannia, I. 412, ed. Gough).

It appears from the map that Seven Wells Head is the source of the Churn, a tributary of the Thames. It is interesting to note that there is a place called Witcomb about two miles from Seven Wells Head. May it be that Stow was confusing Winchcombe with Witcomb and inclined to the " Seven Wells head " source rather than to the " Thames head" source, the theory advanced by Camden?

The river flows through London to its estuary, and London owes its importance as a centre of trade and commerce to its situation upon the banks of the river.

As to the origin of the name, the "h" in the word is unoriginal. Cæsar has "Tamesis" Tacitus, " Tamesa" ; O.E. forms, " Temese," " Temes," " a " being mutated to "ae" and "e" ; M.E., "Temese," "Temse," "Tempse," and in some MSS. "Themese." The English habit of dropping the vowel of the second syllable in trisyllabic names reduced "Temese" to "Temse" and led to insertion of "p." Final "e" dropped off, leaving" Tems." Misspelt in later times with" a " because so spelt in Cæsar and Tacitus, but the pronunciation preserves the true form of the name. "H" due to A.N. scribes (Skeat).

Roman and other coins were found in the bed of the river during excavations for the new London Bridge, 1824 (Arch. XXV. 600), and bronzes, 1837 (R. Smith, 67-8, 72).

The marshland from the river's edge extended about 300 feet inland, shelving up towards Thames Street (ib. 601).

It seems probable that the level of the Thames in old days was 12 feet lower than at present.