The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 19 From Charing Cross To St Paul's Cathedral


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Shoe Lane, beyond Wine Office Court, contains several newspaper offices and leads to Holborn Viaduct. In Gunpowder Alley, opening off it to the left, Richard Lovelace (1618-58), the poet, is said to have died in poverty. A little beyond Serjeants� Inn are Bouverie Street, leading to Tudor Street, and Whitefriars Street, perpetuating the name of the Carmelite monastery of Whitefriars, founded about 1241 and dissolved in 1538. Interesting fragments of this monastery have been found in Bouverie St. (1883) and at No. 4 Britton's Court (1895), where a 14th century vault, now used as a storage cellar, may be seen. The fact that the privilege of sanctuary attached to the precincts of the monastery was not abolished till 1697 apparently explains the appropriation of this quarter, under the name of Alsatia, by debtors, criminals, and lawless characters of all kinds. Alsatia is now predominantly a journalistic region containing the offices of many well-known papers, including that of �Punch� (10 Bouverie St.), on the first floor of which the famous cartoon dinners take place every Wednesday, at a table carved with the initials of distinguished members of the staff, from the first editor, Mark Lemon (1809-70), to the present day. Among the chief buildings are the Guildhall School of Music, in Tallis St., an Italianesque building erected by the Corporation of London in 1886: the Institute of Journalists (1902), at the corner of Tudor St. and Bridewell Place; and the City of London School for Girls, in Tudor Street. The glass industry (tableware and, later, stained glass), for which Whitefriars was noted from the days of Queen Elizabeth, is no longer carried on here.