Cheap Ward

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 4, the City. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.

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'Cheap Ward', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 4, the City, (London, 1929), pp. 59-71. British History Online [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Cheap Ward", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 4, the City, (London, 1929) 59-71. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024,

. "Cheap Ward", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 4, the City, (London, 1929). 59-71. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024,

In this section


Cheap Ward consists of the parishes of All Hallows, Honey Lane, St. Mary Colechurch, St. Martin Pomeroy, St. Mildred Poultry, and parts of the parishes of St. Benet Sherehog, St. Lawrence Jewry, St. Mary le Bow, St. Pancras Soper Lane and St. Stephen Walbrook.

The principal monuments are St. Lawrence Jewry, the Guildhall and Mercers' Hall.


(1) Parish Church of St. Lawrence Jewry stands on the N. side of Gresham Street. It is a Renaissance building of a single apartment with a N. aisle and W. tower, vestibule and vestry. The walls are faced with Portland stone except the N. wall of the N. aisle, which is of rubble; the roofs are covered with lead. The old church was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666 and re-built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1670–86, at a cost of £11,870 1s. 9d. It was repaired in 1867 and the roof was renewed in 1892.

Among the fittings the organ-case and pulpit are particularly fine examples of the period, and the wood carving and ceiling of the vestry are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The E. Elevation (Plate 128) of the main building is divided into five bays by attached Corinthian columns which stand on a podium with plinth and moulded capping and support an enriched entablature surmounted by a panelled 'attic' with plain base and moulded capping and parapet; the angle-pilasters are square and the three middle bays project slightly, and have a pediment enclosing a circular window with moulded architrave; the middle and end bays each have a round-headed niche with semi-domed head and enriched impost-mouldings, all set in a shallow round-headed recess with a moulded archivolt. In the two intermediate bays are round-headed windows with similar impostmouldings and archivolts, and above the heads of both windows and niches are carved festoons and swags of fruit and flowers. The E. end of the N. aisle has rusticated quoins, a moulded plinth and simple moulded cornice surmounted by a plain parapet. The E. window of the aisle has a round head with continuous moulded architrave. The return N. wall of the main building is similarly treated, but has a circular window and the cornice is surmounted by the return end of the attic, in which is a segmental-headed window; the attic is continued along the N. wall of the main building as a clearstorey and is pierced by five other segmental-headed windows. The N. Elevation of the aisle is similar to its E. end and is pierced by six round-headed windows. The S. Elevation is in seven bays with a chamfered plinth, simple moulded cornice and attic with parapet; in each of the end bays is a square-headed doorway with moulded architrave mitred round a cherub-head keystone under a moulded cornice supported on console-brackets; the E. doorway is blocked; over each doorway is a circular window with moulded architrave, and in each of the other bays is a round-headed window similar to those on the N. front; in the plinth, under the third and fifth windows, is a shallow recessed panel with a moulded segmental head; in the attic are six plain windows with segmental heads lighting the clearstorey.

Church of St Lawrence Jewry

The W. Elevation has both the plinths and main cornice continued across the front; at either end is a round-headed window with a moulded architrave and surmounted by plain raised panels flanked, at the N. end, by square-headed windows. The W. Tower is in four stages surmounted by a lead-covered lantern. In the W. wall of the ground-stage is a square-headed doorway with moulded architrave surmounted by a frieze and cornice with pediment carried on plain curved brackets; N. of the doorway is a plain square-headed window; the main cornice divides the ground from the second stage. The second stage has in the W. wall a segmental-headed window and is finished by a moulded string. Both the third and fourth stages have plain pilasters at the angles. The third stage has in the N., S. and W. walls a segmental-headed window set in a rectangular recess with a rectangular panel above; dividing the third from the fourth stage is a moulded cornice. The bell-chamber has in each wall, set within a shallow square-headed recess, a round-headed window with moulded imposts and archivolt; this stage has a modillioned cornice surmounted by a balustraded parapet with pedestals at the angles, supporting obelisks terminating in balls. The lantern is in three stages, surmounted by a short octagonal spire with moulded capping and ball-termination. The first stage forms a plinth; the second is in the form of a Greek cross on plan and is surmounted by a moulded cornice with a pediment over each of the projecting arms; in each of the main faces is a round-headed opening with moulded imposts and plain key-blocks; the third stage forms a square base with a moulded capping below the spire. The spire is finished with a weather-vane in the form of a grid-iron.

Interior. The Chancel and Nave (83 ft. by 47 ft.) are undivided structurally and occupy the body of the main building, which is six bays in length and three in width with half bays at either side. The bays are divided in the E., S. and W. walls by Corinthian pilasters and the five westernmost bays between the nave and N. aisle by a colonnade of Corinthian columns; both pilasters and columns stand on pedestals with moulded caps and bases and support a continuous entablature with modelled enrichment on the frieze of the E. wall and modillioned cornice; on the N., S. and W. walls the entablature projects slightly over each pilaster or column with the top members of the cornice returning on to a flat band ornamented with a raised panel with enrichment at either end. The two windows in the E. wall and the last five in the S. wall each have moulded imposts and archivolts; the E. windows have also a cartouche and swags above; in the N. and S. walls of the chancel the circular windows have each a moulded archivolt springing off moulded imposts; in the W. wall in the bay on either side of the middle bay is a round-headed opening corresponding and similar in detail to the window in the E. wall; the middle bay is masked by the organ. The clearstorey windows are placed centrally in each bay above the main cornice and have plain splays and segmental heads.

The N. Aisle (22¼ ft. wide) formerly contained a gallery, since removed, and is now divided longitudinally by a modern partition; the room formed on the N. side of this partition is now used as a quire-vestry and there is a baptistery at the W. end of the aisle; the windows are all similar to those in the S. wall.

The body of the church has above the main cornice a deep cove, groined over the clearstorey windows, above which is a flat trabeated ceiling surrounded by an enriched moulded cornice; dividing the bays of the cove are enriched panelled ribs, and the main ceiling is divided into eighteen panels by deep intersecting beams corresponding to the bays below; the beams are moulded, have panelled soffits and rosettes at the intersections; the three panels at either end are filled with compositions of branches, leaves and flowers; the side panels have borders of similar enrichment; in the centre of the three middle divisions are round bosses of foliage. The ceiling to the ground-stage of the W. tower has a moulded cornice with plain corbels and octagonal bell-way with moulded surround. The ceiling to the vestry (Plates 127, 211) is richly modelled in plaster; in the centre is a quatrefoilpanel surrounded by a band of fruit and laurel-leaf enrichment and in the spandrels, scroll-work of foliage, roses and sunflowers within a border of laurel-leaves, with circular panels in the middle of the N. and S. ends, filled with a double C under a crown with palm-branches.

Fittings—All of late 17th-century date unless otherwise described. Bells: eight; 3rd to 7th by James Bartlett, 1679; 8th by same founder, 1687. Chest: In tower—of iron with raised bands, handle at each end, two staples in front and ornamental boss round keyhole. Communion Table: with carved top rail, four corner legs and two under middle, connected below by carved ogee-shaped rails; two back legs plain, two front and two middle legs carved as figures of cherubs; in centre of front, carved wreath of oak-leaves enclosing the initials IHS. Communion Rails: with moulded plinth, carved rail, twisted and carved balusters and pedestal-shaped standards having enriched panels with carved festoons on W. faces and carved vases above angles. Door-cases and Doors. Doorcases: at W. end of nave (Plate 126), on either side of organ, with fluted Corinthian columns on panelled pedestals with enriched moulding, supporting entablature with carved frieze and modillioned cornice, curved broken pediment recessed in middle with pedestal in tympanum surmounted by carved figure of angel; between columns, square-headed doorway with enriched impost-moulding, carried across semi-circular archivolt with enriched mouldings and scrolled key-block; in tympanum enriched panels and in spandrels carved swags; sides and soffit of lobbies both panelled. Two outer doorcases (Plate 126), between nave and tower and vestibule, each flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters supporting entablatures with enriched architrave, double brackets on frieze above pilasters and enriched cornice with segmental pediment recessed in middle; over head of doorway, between capitals, carved swags of fruit and flowers carried up in middle with architrave mitred round; in tympanum, moulded panel filled with carved palm-leaves and flanked by enriched brackets; S. side of each case panelled. Doors: To vestibule and tower-lobbies, W. doors in two leaves, each with moulded panels; between tower and staircase-lobby, in two leaves each with raised panels; external S. and W. doors, each in two panelled leaves; to tower-staircase, of two panels with moulded architrave; between vestry and N. aisle, in two panelled leaves; to vestry, two internal doors, each in two leaves, each with four enriched panels and architrave, carved with acanthus-leaves. Font (Plate 10): of white marble, with shallow octagonal bowl having scalloped and moulded upper edge and draped swags carved on each face, baluster-shaped stem with moulded capping and base on plain plinth. Font-cover: of oak, octagonal, with swags on each face of base surmounted by small pediments formed by two ogee scrolls; upper part with ogee cupola on low base with carved leaf-ornament on angles and modern terminal. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In chancel—on N. wall (1) to John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1694, marble monument (Plate 24) with draped sarcophagus surmounted by cartouche of palm-leaves with head in relief, flanked by cherubs, mitre at top and shield-of-arms on sarcophagus. In N. aisle—on E. wall, (2) to Benjamin Whichcote, 1683, plain tablet, recessed at sides to form pilasters, surmounted by cornice and bust, with gadrooned shelf below, shaped apron with shield-of-arms and cherub-heads; (3) to Mary, daughter of John Browning, 1697, monument by Caius Cibber, with female figure standing by urn in shallow recess under drapery with gadrooned shelf below flanked by figures of weeping children, and apron with shield-of-arms flanked by skulls, later inscription to William Bird, 1698; on N. wall, (4) to James Richardson, 1706, cartouche with scroll-work and drapery flanked by cherub-heads with skull and wings below and cartouche-of-arms above; on W. wall, (5) to William Haliday, Alderman, 1623, Sussana (Row) his widow (afterwards wife of Robert, Earl of Warwick), 1645, Anne, wife of Sir Henry Mildmay, their daughter, 1656, and Diana Maria daughter of the last named, 1643, marble sarcophagus (Plate 21) with scalloped base supporting three inscription-panels surmounted by three busts all with carved flanking pilasters, supporting cornice and segmental pediment; in recess above busts, three shields-of-arms, monument erected 1687; (6) to Catherine Lightfoot, daughter of Robert Abbot, 1673, marble tablet with flanking pilasters and scrolls, moulded shelf with carved corbels and swag and moulded, segmental cornice with winged cherub-head below and achievement-of-arms above. In nave—on S. wall, (7) to Christopher Goodfellow, 1690, John his son, 1700, and Dorothy wife of the first named, 1711, plain marble tablet with gadrooned shelf supported by carved cherub-head on apron and moulded cornice surmounted by shield-of-arms; (8) to Peter Patten, 1673, marble monument with oval tablet on square panel flanked by scrolls with half Ionic capitals and bases resting on moulded shelf; (9) to Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Rawstorn, 1675, panel with moulded border flanked by recessed pilasters with entablature and segmental pediment surmounted by cartouche-of-arms; ovolo-moulded apron below with carved swags and second shield-of-arms. In vestibule— removed from St. Michael Bassishaw, (10) to Thomas Wharton M.D., 1673, white marble cartouche with scroll-work, fruit and flowers on draped background flanked on either side by two cherubs, winged skull below and achievement-of-arms above between two cherub-heads. Floor-slabs. In N. aisle—(1) to John Davis, 1681, Henry his brother, 1691, and Christian his sister, 1699, with shield-of-arms; (2) to James Wane, 1672, and Elizabeth his wife; (3) to Elizabeth Gilbert, 1687, with shield-of-arms; (4) to Augustine Mumford, 1666; (5) to . . . Smith, . . ., with obliterated shield-of-arms; (6) to Jane, wife of Thomas Dugdale, 1692, with shield-of-arms; (7) to Ann Mumford, 1701, and others; (8) to ..., 168 ., with shield-of-arms. Nos. 2, 4 and 5, now covered up. Organ-gallery: occupying middle bay of W. wall of nave. Gallery, rectangular on plan with projections on E., N. and S. sides and carried on fluted Corinthian columns with enriched entablature having modillioned cornice surmounted by panelled attic with moulded base and enriched capping; panels carved with scroll-work, musical instruments, with panelled pilasters over columns carved with swags; under gallery against W. wall, panelled enclosure to cupboards and staircase with Corinthian angle-pilasters and large cartouche on E. side carved, with open volume of music inscribed " Non nobis Domine" and " St. Lawrence Jure," flanked by branches of laurel; soffits of beams and ceiling under gallery panelled. Organ-case: divided into two tiers by enriched cornice projecting under upper 'towers' of pipes on corbels, carved alternately with acanthus-leaves and cherub-heads; sides to lower tier cased with bolection-moulded panelling; choir-organ, carried on projection of gallery, with two panels of pipes with ogee-shaped heads separated by three ' towers' of pipes carried on carved corbels and finished with entablatures and pierced carving; front to main organ divided by three 'towers' into two bays of pipes; each bay with segmental head and divided horizontally by band of pierced carving; middle 'tower' carried up higher than side 'towers' and each surmounted by enriched entablature with pierced carving below; connecting heads of 'towers,' pierced carving with radiating pipes above; sides of upper part each with large panel carved with musical instruments, and against W. wall of church 'tower' of pipes similar to middle 'tower' on front and flanked by two panels of pipes; organ originally built by Renatus Harris, stood in W. bay of N. aisle, moved to present position in 1707, added to in 1710 and 1723, and reconstructed in 1875. Panelling: Round N. and S. walls partly continued round W. end, of oak in two heights with raised panels. Above W. door-case with enriched bolection-mouldings and radiating panels in tympanum. To vestry (Plate 129), in three heights, lower plain, two upper raised and enriched, surmounted by enriched entablature with pulvinated frieze carved with bay and oak leaves; over-doors and chimney-piece carved with swags of fruit, flowers and leaves with large festoons at sides. Fireplace surrounded by bolection-moulded architrave of coloured and veined marble and shelf of carved oak. Pictures: In vestry — on ceiling, painting of " The Apotheosis of St. Lawrence" by Fuller the younger, 1678; over fireplace in carved and moulded frame, " The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence," attributed to Spagnoletto (Ribera); in N. aisle, former altarpiece, "Adoration of the Trinity," Flemish school. Plate: includes cup of 1548, from St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, cup and paten of 1561, cup of 1566, unmarked paten from St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, two flagons of 1633 inscribed with donor's name, Gyles Martin, arms and date, seal-head spoon of 1638 inscribed " M.M.M. 1639," from St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, two stand-patens of 1684 the gift of Robert Massy, with shields-of-arms, two silver-gilt dishes of 1684, one the gift of Robert Massy with achievement-of-arms, the other in memory of Anne Adam, cup of 1685 with inscription; also the following pieces from St. Michael Bassishaw, cup of c. 1600, with Augsburg marks, embossed lid with figure of a soldier, deep embossed bowl and stem also embossed, flagon of 1629 with three small busts of women on body of vessel, given by John Bancker, 1630, and stand-paten of 1629. Poor-boxes: by doorways in W. wall, two, square baluster-shaped stems with Corinthian caps, enriched boxes with original lock-plates. Pulpit: of oak, hexagonal with moulded base and capping both with carved acanthus-leaf enrichment, projecting angles with carved panels and raised panel on each face (except S.E.), with carved border and inlay; necking to capping carried down over each face in inverted segment enclosing carved cartouche flanked by leaf-scrolls; ogee-shaped base with carved projecting angles and stem with enriched angles. Sounding-board, hexagonal with panelled border to soffit and enriched entablature with winged cherub-heads at angles of frieze; cornice carried down over middle of each face in inverted segment surmounted by carved swag with scallop-shell over middle and carved vases at angles; support in form of square Ionic pillar with enriched capital and sides panelled in four heights with swags on upper panels. Rainwater-heads: On N. side one, and on S. side three, all with escutcheons and dated 1677; one on S. side, two on N. and one at W. end, all plain. Royal Arms: In nave—on S. wall, Stuart arms, carved in wood, formerly belonging to St. Michael Bassishaw. Seating: In nave—old pews cut down with raised panels on ends and backs. Corporation Pew: on S. side, with pierced and carved frieze of narrow panels. Churchwardens' and Overseers' Pew: at W. end, with panelling to back in four heights, lower panels with raised mouldings, upper panels pierced and carved, with capping carved on W. side. Sword Rest (Plate 44): fixed behind Lord Mayor's chair in Corporation Pew, of wrought-iron scroll-work surmounted by crown. Miscellanea: Benefactors' Tablets. In N. aisle—on S. side of partition, two, each with enriched frame with shouldered heads flanked by scrolls and surmounted by carved cornice and pediment. Bread-shelves. In N. aisle—on N. side of partition, three with guillocheenriched edges enclosed in framing flanked by panelled and carved pilasters supporting enriched entablature with carved frieze. Wooden tablet, forming support for clock, over W. door of tower, with bolection-moulded frame surrounded by raised carving, from St. Michael Bassishaw. Fireplace. Re-set in N. aisle, in middle of partition, of stone, with plain pilasters supporting entablature with tablet; above, swags and winged cherub-heads of carved wood painted. Table. In vestry —modern, but incorporating eight twisted and carved balusters and carved top rail.


(2) Parish Church of St. Benet Sherehog was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and was not re-built, but the churchyard remains on the N. side of Pancras Lane and contains a table-tomb to Michael Davidson, 1670.


(3) The Guildhall stands at the N. end of Guildhall Yard, 90 yards N. of Gresham Street. The main building is of one storey and an undercroft, the walls are externally of rubble with limestone-dressings and the interior of limestoneashlar; the roofs are covered with slates. The present building dates from the early years of the 15th century. Fabyan's "Chronicles" (1411) state, "In this year also was the Guyldehall of London begun. ..." Stow writes, "Thomas Knowles Grocer, Maior, 1400 with his brethern the Aldermen began to new build the Guild Hall." It was some years in building, the Porch not being finished until 1425; the Kitchen-wing which stood to the N. of the W. end of the main hall was built in 1501. The Great Fire of 1666 greatly damaged the building and Sir Christopher Wren was probably entrusted with the restorations. Work then done included the raising of the side walls of the main hall about 20 ft. and the substitution for the original open roof of a flat timber ceiling divided into panels by beams; in the raised walls was a clearstorey of round-headed windows. The western half of the Crypt, which is supposed to have collapsed, was re-built with brick walls and barrel-vaulting within the original walls to carry the floor of the hall above, in place of the stone piers and mediæval vaulting. In 1788 the original front of the S. Porch, with the alterations probably made by Wren, was pulled down and redesigned by George Dance, and the present roof to the main hall was put up in 1865 by Sir Horace Jones, who demolished the 17th-century flat ceiling and lowered the side walls to their former height. The building was restored in 1815 and again in 1909. This latter restoration included the cleaning of the E. Crypt, the removal of cement and whitewash off the walls of the main hall and entrance-porch, and the opening out of various doorways and windows which had been blocked during some of the previous alterations.

The Guildhall is still substantially an early 15th-century building and the Porch and East Crypt are noteworthy examples of the period. The Aldermen's Court Room has one of the richest plaster ceilings in London.

Elevations. On all sides the lower part of the main hall is covered by modern additions or rebuilding. Where visible externally the walling is partly original and of coursed rag-stone, but the dressings are all modern or much restored. The end walls are gabled; at each angle of the building is an octagonal turret and the side walls are each divided into eight bays by buttresses. The E. window is covered with Portland cement, but the W. window has an original label though patched with Portland cement.

The Guildhall. Plan of Ground Floor.

Interior. The Great Hall (151½ ft. by 48 ft.) is divided into eight bays (Plate 130) by triple wallshafts with carved capitals and moulded bases; the capitals which support the roof-trusses are modern and the side walls above the springing of the trusses have been re-built. The walling below is mostly original, but portions of the upper part were re-built after the Great Fire; the dressings have been considerably restored and much of the window-tracery is quite modern, though apparently following the original design. The easternmost bay is occupied by a dais; the lower parts of the walls are covered by modern oak panelling, above which is original stone canopy-work with ribbed vaults to each division and cusped and sub-cusped front arches supporting a continuous frieze with bosses carved with shields of the City arms, masks, conventional leaves, etc., and surmounted by an embattled cornice; in the middle of the E. wall the canopy projects in semi-octagonal form and has on the frieze, shields carved respectively with the arms of (a) France quartering England, (b) the City and (c) Edward the Confessor; at the angles are corresponding projections. In the E. wall above the canopy-work is a large window divided into three main divisions by wide and heavily moulded piers; the middle division is of five, the side divisions each of two cinque-foiled and transomed lights with tracery above; the side divisions are flanked on the outer side by small niches with projecting pedestals and canopied heads, and the whole window is enclosed within a heavily moulded rear-arch with short shafted and moulded jambs. Each bay of the side walls is divided horizontally at about one-third of its height by a deep moulded and embattled cornice enriched with carved bosses of grotesque heads, shields of the City arms, animals and conventional leaves. Above this cornice each bay has a large and deeply splayed window, reaching to the underside of the main frieze of the hall and of two tiers each of two cinque-foiled lights and with tracery under a two-centred arch; the splays are moulded and carried up to a square head enclosing cusped spandrels; on either side of the window the wall-surface is panelled in two tiers of panels with cinque-foiled heads corresponding to the lights of the windows; the upper heads are of ogee-form with trefoil-headed panels in the spandrels; in some of the windows the two lower lights are blocked. On the N. wall the lower parts of the second, fourth and sixth bays are blocked by modern monuments. In the third bay is a doorway with a four-centred arch under a square head; on the E. is an ogee-headed cinque-foiled panel with trefoiled spandrels of similar character to those on the walling above; on the W. is a blocked doorway with a two-centred head and cinquefoil-headed panels above. In the fifth bay is a large archway with moulded and shafted jambs with modern bases and foliated capitals and moulded two-centred arch within a square head; in the panelled and cusped spandrels are half-angels holding shields carved respectively with the arms of (a) France quartering England and (b) Edward the Confessor. The seventh bay has, in the lower part, an original window, now blocked, and of two cinque-foiled lights in a four-centred head; the head and jambs are defaced and the mullion is missing; it is flanked by panels with traceried heads similar to those on the walling above. In the middle of the eighth bay is a modern doorway. On the first pier is a boundarymark inscribed "1680 CHEAP WARD." On the S. wall the lower parts of the second and third bays are covered by modern monuments, but on the W. side of the latter is a small doorway; the fourth bay is lined with modern panelling; the main entrance-doorway (Plate 174) in the fifth bay has moulded jambs and two-centred arch with traceried spandrels under a square head; the quatrefoils in the spandrels originally enclosed carving, but this has now gone; on either side of the doorway is a cinque-foiled ogee-headed panel with two tiers of trefoil-headed panels above. The sixth bay has stone panelling and in the seventh bay an original window of two cinque-foiled lights with a quatrefoil under a four-centred head with moulded splays and rear-arch; on either side of the window is stone panelling similar to that in the bay opposite; in the splays are low stone window-seats and the lights retain their old glazing with lozenge-shaped quarries and two metal casements with shaped latches; the eighth bay is panelled in a similar manner to the sixth bay, but the middle panel has been cut through to form a modern doorway; in the westernmost division is a doorway giving entrance to the S.W. stair-turret. Across the westernmost bay is a modern screen supporting a gallery. The great W. window is generally similar to that in the E. wall, but the upper tracery in the main side divisions is blind. Standing on modern pedestals on either side of the W. window, but not in situ, are the two figures of "Gog" and "Magog"; the figures are of wood and were carved by Richard Saunders, 1707–08; both represent grotesque giants with short legs and are dressed in semi-Roman costume with wreaths round their heads. Gog on the S. side holds in his right hand a 'morning star' and has hanging across his back a quiver of arrows. Magog carries in his right hand a halberd and in his left an elaborate shield, bearing an eagle displayed.

The S. Porch (25 ft. by 15½ ft.) is in two vaulted bays; the restored entrance-archway is two-centred and of two moulded orders carried on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The vaulting springs from similar attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases; the side walls of each bay have three cinque-foiled-headed panels with vertical tracery under a two-centred head. The vaulting has moulded main, intermediate, wall and ridge ribs with the following carved bosses at the intersections—In N. bay, (a) shield of France quartering England with foliage; (b), (c), (d) a seeded rose with I.H.S. in 'black-letter'; (e) two beasts fighting and a fleur-de-lis; (f) a rayed wreath with hand in blessing; (g) oak-leaves and acorns; (h) wreath with greyhound; (j) leaves and intertwining stems. In S. bay, (a) shield-of-arms of Edward the Confessor within a crown and foliage; (b) and (c) seeded rose with I.H.S. in 'blackletter'; (e) seeded rose with X.P.I. in 'black-letter'; (f) antelope collared with a crown; (g) foliage; (h) swan with crown round neck, within a crown; (i) foliage. The ribs of the vaulting are considerably defaced.

Built into the S. wall against the fourth bay of the Great Hall is a narrow flight of stone steps; the top is carried on a moulded stone corbel built out from the E. wall of the porch, and at the top of the flight is an original doorway with a four-centred head which formerly opened into a chamber above the porch; the staircase was apparently built in the thickness of the wall, but the outer wall has been demolished and the inner face thickened.

The E. Crypt (73¾ ft. by 45½ ft.) is four bays in length and three in width (Plate 132) with two rows of blue Purbeck-marble piers, each of four attached shafts separated by a hollow with moulded capitals and bases; against the walls are responds of similar character. Each bay is vaulted and has hollow-chamfered ridge, main and secondary ribs with carved bosses at the intersections, including shields of the City arms, See of London, Edward the Confessor, and St. George; carved leaves, roses, blank shield on rosettes, bird on nest, angels, a grotesque head, a man's head wearing 'turban' head-dress of the period. The vault over the middle bay against the E. wall rises towards the wall to clear the head of the E. doorway. This doorway has moulded and shafted jambs with moulded capitals and bases, two-centred arch of three moulded orders and moulded splays and segmental rear-arch; in each splay, opening into a narrow staircase in the thickness of the wall, is a small doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head. The bottom of the doorway was originally about 3¾ ft. above the level of the floor of the Crypt, which was apparently entered by a flight of steps, but the wall below the doorway has been cut through. In the S. bay of the E. wall is a shallow recess with hollow-chamfered jambs and three-centred head. The N. wall has in the first bay a small doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head, and further W. a window of three trefoiled lights under a four-centred head; in the second bay is a similar window and in the third bay a segmental-headed doorway, of uncertain date, with brick arch and jambs, in place of a former window; in the fourth bay is a doorway with jambs and pointed head of two hollow-chamfered orders and depressed four-centred rear-arch; the lower parts of the jambs have been cut away. The S. wall has in the first bay an original doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head, and further W. a blocked segmental-headed window of three trefoiled lights; the lights are filled with an old wrought-iron grate and in the inner head, and splays are a series of slots; in the second bay is a similar window with slots in the head and splays and one saddle-bar at the springing; in the third bay is a similar window with part of a wrought-iron saddle-bar at the springing; externally it was originally flanked on either side by a niche, but only part of the head of that on the W. side remains. In the fourth bay is an elaborate doorway with moulded and shafted jambs and moulded two-centred arch under a square head with panelled spandrels; on either side of the doorway were niches with vaulted heads and pedestals with panelled fronts and moulded caps and bases; the niches were flanked by small buttresses, and above the doorway was another niche with vaulted head and panels at the sides; the whole composition is now much defaced, the upper part of the W. niche having entirely gone; the bottom of the doorway is 5¼ ft. above the floor of the Crypt, which was originally entered by a flight of stone steps. In the W. wall in the middle bay is a segmental-headed doorway with hollow-chamfered jambs; the jambs are much defaced and the head is partly missing.

The Guildhall, Plan of Basement

Fittings—Preserved in the Crypt: Coffin and slab: of stone, from the Guildhall Chapel, the slab with foliated cross between two trumpets and inscription round edge in Lombardic capitals to Goefrey le Troumpeur, late 13th or early 14th-century. Coffin-slabs: from Guildhall Crypt, two, each with moulded edge and foliated cross, 13th-century.

The W. Crypt (72½ ft. by 48½ ft.) was of simpler design than the E. crypt and was three bays wide and four and a half bays in length with the half bay at the E. end. Though of the same date as the main building, the bays do not correspond with those of the Hall above, the sub-piers of which show on the side walls of the crypt as semi-octagonal projections. Each bay was covered by a quadripartite vault with chamfered ribs springing from octagonal piers and semi-octagonal responds; there appear to have been no capitals at the springing, but none of the detached piers now remain though foundations were discovered during excavations in December, 1909. A 17th-century brick barrel-vault covers the central passage and the side chambers or cellars are treated in the same manner. Some of the original wall-piers with the springing of the vault-ribs have recently been exposed through the cutting away of the 17th-century brickwork, and the remains of original windows have also been uncovered. They are considerably damaged and are generally of two trefoiled lights under four-centred heads with internal rebates for shutters. The middle window in the W. wall has been cut through below the sill to form an entrance; the window was originally of three lights with tracery under a four-centred head, and part of the sill remains on the S. side.

Various buildings stood to the N. and N.W. of the main building and the existing remains are of 15th or early 16th-century date. N. of the W. crypt was an open court (now built over) and to the E. of it a corridor entered by doorways on both floors in the fourth bay from the E. of the main building; the E. wall of this corridor still remains and contains, in the lower part, a four-centred moulded arch or wide doorway of two orders, one chamfered and the other rounded, with a moulded label; above it, on the next floor, is part of a window with moulded reveals. On the N. side of the court was a room about 37½ ft. by 19¾; the side walls and part of the W. wall remain, but the E. wall is modern; in the S. wall are three original blocked windows and a doorway with moulded jambs, four-centred head and label; in the N. wall are two similar windows with a doorway with a four-centred head to the W. The smaller room to the N.W. of the chamber has in the E. wall a blocked doorway and window, both with segmental-pointed rear-arches, and in the S. wall a fireplace with chamfered jambs and four-centred head. The corridor from the fourth bay of the Hall, mentioned above, led to a room on the first floor called the Exchequer Chamber (about 56 ft. by 22 ft.). The greater part of this building was destroyed when the New Council Chamber was built, but parts of the two rubble walls, at the N.W. angle, remain. In the W. wall is a large blocked window of the 15th century with moulded splays and four-centred rear-arch in a square head with cusped spandrels; immediately to the S. and at a lower level is a blocked doorway, of the same date, with moulded splays and four-centred arch in a square head. In the surviving part of the N. wall is part of a large blocked window, at a higher level than that in the W. wall, and flanking it on the W. the remains of a niche. All the details of this work are much weathered. Both walls stand on foundation-arches which were uncovered in 1928. Adjoining the building on the N. a mediæval substructure was found, at the same time, with walls of faced chalk and lying at a lower level than the foundation-arches.

The Aldermen's Court Room (Plate 131), to the N.W. of the building last described, is said to have been built early in the 17th century, but it, with the adjoining wing on the E., was largely, if not entirely, re-built after the Great Fire of 1666. Both wings are of three storeys and the walls are probably of brick, but have been plastered or rendered in cement. The Court Room, on the first floor, has an elaborate late 17th-century plaster ceiling with a central oval panel and two rectangular panels at each end. The central panel has con-centric rings of ornament, including a broad band of scrolled acanthus with figures of satyrs, boys, various beasts, etc.; in the spandrels are elaborate cartouches of the arms of the City supported by putti, and at the sides and ends of the oval are small round panels enclosing two eagles and two amorini respectively; the two rectangular panels at each end of the ceiling are deeply recessed and bordered by an enriched cornice with swags; within each is a smaller panel with rounded ends and cherub-heads in the spandrels. The coved cornice, round three sides of the room, has a series of enriched cartouches, painted with modern arms and in the middle of the E. end is an achievement of the City arms. The main panels of the ceiling were painted by Sir James Thornhill in 1727; the main oval panel contains a female figure representing the City with attendant figures of Minerva, Peace, Plenty and two putti; the four smaller panels have each a putto holding sword, mirror, ewer and patera, etc. The walls of the room have an original dado and an enriched wooden cornice, but the rest of the panelling is modern except for a large panel at the W. end and the woodwork round the fireplace. The fireplace has a deep moulded surround of black marble with a scrolled key-block; above it is a painting on canvas by Sir James Thornhill, in black, green and gold, described on the artist's original sketch as "Justice inviolable embracing Mercy who leans on the City arms, Truth looking up to Justice, Religion and Liberty on one hand, Loyalty and Concord on the other." The three doorcases are all original and have panelled linings, partly renewed; each is flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters supporting an entablature and segmental pediment with a cherub-head in the middle of the frieze; the door at the E. end of the room is of eight panels and appears to be original. Re-set on the outside face of the W. wall is a cartouche of the City arms set in a panel with egg-and-tongue enrichment.


(4) Mercers' Hall, standing on the N. side of Cheapside, between Ironmonger Lane and Old Jewry, is of two storeys. The walls are partly of stone and partly of brick and the roofs are covered with copper. The building occupies the site and preserves some of the features of the plan of the hospital-church of St. Thomas of Acon. Of the structure itself, apart from foundations, only the N. wall of the 'Ambulatory' (representing the Nave) appears to be earlier than the Great Fire, and the date of this is probably not earlier than the 16th century. The church became the property of the Mercers' Company in 1541 after the suppression of the hospital, and a blocked window in the N. wall of the Ambulatory is perhaps Jacobean. The building was almost entirely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and the rebuilding finished in 1682. In 1880 the front towards Cheapside was entirely re-built and in 1909 a modern block of buildings was erected to the N.W. The old building was extensively restored in 1926–28.

This is now the only City company possessing a private chapel. The ancient portions of the building are confined to the site of the hospital church; the Chapel being of the size of the quire and probably a N. chapel; the Ambulatory probably occupies the site of the nave, transept and aisles, and above it is the Hall to the N.W. and the Court Room and Small Court Room to the E. The modern buildings fronting Cheapside include the main entrance and stand on the site of the old chapel and the old hall above it, destroyed in the Great Fire.

The S. Elevation to Cheapside is entirely modern. The N. Elevation of the Hall block is faced with brick and has modern parapets. The ground-floor has six square-headed late 17th-century windows, the fourth being set in a blocked three-light window with a square head, formerly stonemullioned and perhaps Jacobean. Above the first three windows are as many blocked square-headed windows, with stone architraves, formerly lighting the Court Room; further W., at a higher level, are three large three-light windows to the Hall, with stone architraves, the middle light in each case round-headed and the side lights square-headed. The S. Elevation of the Hall has three windows similar to those on the N., but below, the wall is built against.

Mercers' Hall.

The Chapel (41 ft. square) has three round-headed recesses in the E. wall and in the N. and S. walls are three windows of the same form, the middle one in each case being larger; they have external rubbed-brick architraves; the first window on the S. side is now blocked. At the E. end of the N. wall is a blocked doorway with a round head in late 17th-century brick. Below the third window on the S. is a modern doorway to a modern vestry adjoining. In the W. wall is a square-headed central doorway communicating with the 'Ambulatory' and smaller doorways on either side of it. At the gallery-level two doorways communicate with the Court Room.

Fittings—Communion Table and Rails: table with turned and twisted legs, rail moulded with similar balusters. Doors: heavy wooden doorcases to doorway and two blocked doorways in W. wall, with moulded architraves. Gallery: at W. end with panelled front, carved drops and enriched cornice. Panelling: walls panelled to window-sill level, Corinthian pilasters supporting segmental pediments, below spaces between windows and also on W. wall. Pavement: to aisle, in black and white marble squares. Reredos: of wood, flanked by coupled Corinthian columns, supporting a segmental pediment, with a painted 'Glory' and carved swags in the tympanum, at sides two gilt vases, centre-bay with two round-headed, enriched panels and above them three carved escutcheons bearing the Royal Stuart arms (in the centre) and those of the City and Company; carved palm-branches on either side the Royal arms. Screen: at E. end of pewing, low panelled with carved pierced panels at top, opening in centre with modern posts at sides supporting gilt lion and unicorn. Seating: at W. end, in pews for members of the Court, pierced carved panels re-used. All fittings are of late 17th-century date.

The 'Ambulatory' (87½ ft. by 57½ ft. at E. end) is four bays long and three wide, but the two W. bays on the S. side are occupied by modern buildings. The E. bay may represent the transept of the hospital church. Marking the W. line of the supposed transept are two plain segmental stone arches springing from rectangular piers and supporting the E. wall of the Hall above; the line is continued S. by a moulded trabeation supported on two Doric columns of stone. The S. wall of the hall above rests on a similar trabeation supported on two rectangular piers each with a Doric column on the E. and W. The central space is divided up by two similar columns supporting trabeations and the bays are marked by Doric pilasters against the outer walls. The second bay on the S. wall is divided into three sub-bays by modern pilasters. Low down in the N. wall are three small single-light openings, looking inwards; they have four-centred heads and iron bars and are probably of 16th-century date. In the third bay of the N. wall is an archway (Plate 133) approached by a short flight of steps with ornate wrought-iron hand-rails, on either side, of late 17th-century date; it formed the original entrance to the Hall, which is approached by a modern staircase; the archway is of wood, round-headed and with richly carved spandrels and key; behind it is a portcullis of wood divided up into pierced cusped panels each with a rose in the centre and with a pierced cresting and chevaux-de-frise above, all of late 17th-century date. Fixed in a modern archway in the fourth bay of the same wall is an iron railing and gate bearing the arms of the company, c. 1700. The 'Ambulatory' was used for burials down to the early part of the last century and contains two ancient monuments: in the N. wall—(1) to Richard Fishborne, mercer, 1625, recumbent effigy (Plate 64) in cloak and ruff under a late 17th-century arch in the wall; on S. wall—(2) to Sir Samuel Mico, 1666, and Jane his wife, 1670, enriched tablet with shield-of-arms. Under the floor was found, in 1928, a brass-indent of a civilian and wife, two shields and a marginal inscription of c. 1500. The walls are panelled to below the window-sills and finished with a moulded cornice as capping.

The Hall (62¾ ft. by 30½ ft.) above the W. part of the 'Ambulatory' has been considerably altered and the ceiling and fireplaces are modern. The walls are panelled to the window-sills and divided into bays by pairs of Ionic pilasters supporting segmental pediments; the large panels between them have each a large carved bunch (Plates 134, 135) of fruit, foliage and flowers; below the windows are panels (Plate 136) carved with the Virgin-crest and swags. The screen at the W. end is divided into five bays by fluted Ionic pilasters supporting the entablature and over each alternate bay a segmental pediment; the two doorways are round-headed and above the keys are carved cartouches of the arms of the City and company; a plainly panelled attic above the entablature forms the gallery-front. High up in the E. wall is a round-headed window.

The Court Room, to the E. of the hall, has two doorways in the E. wall communicating with the gallery of the Chapel. The modern fireplace on the W. has a richly carved late 17th-century overmantel with a broken and scrolled pediment and the arms of the company. The walls are panelled to the ceiling with fluted Ionic pilasters supporting an enriched entablature. In the modern corridor S. of the hall is a modern fireplace with a late 17th-century carved and panelled overmantel (Plate 136) refixed above it.


(5) Grocers' Hall, standing on the W. side of Princes Street, is a modern building. It contains the following ancient fittings: In the Court Room —overmantel to fireplace, panelled and carved, in centre an inscription recording the benefactions of Sir John Cutler and Sir John Moore with three painted shields-of-arms. In the Vestibule—bell, formerly in the church of All Hallows, Staining, Flemish make, inscribed "Martine . es . minen . name . mun . gbelunt . sy . gode . bequame . ghemaect. int. jaer. m . cccc. lviii."

(6) Houses, Nos. 64 and 65, on S. side of Cheapside, 30 yards W. of Queen Street, are of four storeys with attics; the walls are of brick. They were built in the latter part of the 17th century, but have been much altered and the front has probably been re-built. The front to Crown Court is of dark brick with projecting bands dividing the storeys; the parapet is modern. Inside No. 64 the staircase (Plate 41) from the first floor upwards is original and is built round a small well with straight moulded strings and handrails and heavy turned balusters with half balusters against the newels; the newels are square with chamfered edges; on the W. side they are continuous and on the E. have plain rounded tops and moulded drops. There is a similar staircase in No. 65.

Condition—Good, much altered.

(7) House, No. 73, on the S. side of Cheapside, 15 yards E. of Queen Street, is of four storeys with attics, the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with modern lead and slates. It was built in the latter part of the 17th century, but has been much altered at later dates. The front elevation has been re-designed and the back elevation has been re-built. Inside the building no original features remain except the great staircase (Plate 39) which is almost intact, but the front flights have been rearranged; it is lit by an 18th-century top light. It is built with heavy timbers and has a continuous string, moulded and enriched with a bay-leaf frieze, moulded rail, turned twisted and carved balusters with half balusters against the newels which are square with carved drops.

In a court at the rear of the building is a lead tablet of c. 1700 inscribed " Passage thro' to Cheapside."

Condition—Good, much altered.

(8) House, No. 11, on the E. side of King Street, 50 yards S. of Gresham Street. The building is of four storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 17th century, but has had a modern shop-front inserted in the ground-floor and has been much altered internally. The W. elevation is of red brick with rubbed-brick window-heads and a modern parapet. The windows have flush frames and there is an original dormer in the roof. Inside the building the staircase is original from the second floor up and has moulded strings and handrail, square newels and turned balusters.


(9) House, Nos. 12 and 12a, on the W. side of Grocers' Hall Court, 15 yards N. of Poultry, is of three storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built probably late in the 17th century, but has been much altered. Under the house is a passage to Dove Court; above the opening on the W. side is a parish boundary-plate of metal inscribed S.M.P. 1680.


(10) House, No. 52, on the S. side of Gresham Street at the E. corner of Ironmonger Lane, is of three storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built late in the 17th century, but has been much altered. The windows have flush frames and rubbed-brick heads. On the W. side there is a brick band between the upper storeys.


(11) House, No. 10, on the S. side of Trump Street, 40 yards W. of King Street, is of four storeys with attics; the walls are of brick. It was built late in the 17th century, but has been much altered. The N. front has brick bands between the upper storeys; the windows have flush frames and square rubbed-brick heads. Inside the building the staircase from the second floor to the attics is original and has turned balusters, square newels with moulded caps, straight moulded strings and rails; against the walls is a dado with a moulded capping.

Condition—Fairly good.