The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 28 Bank of England, Royal Exchange, Mansion House

Threadneedle Street

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In Throgmorton St. just north of the Stock Exchange is DRAPERS' HALL, dating in part from 1667 but practically rebuilt in 1866-70 (visitors usually admitted on application). It contains a handsome staircase, a portrait of Nelson by Beechey, and a painting by Zucchero, supposed to represent Mary, Queen of Scots, and James I. Two of its famous mulberries still flourish in the garden. The Dutch Church (open 9.30-4, Saturday 9.30-1), in Austin Friars, close to the Drapers' Hall, originally belonged to a priory of Augustine friars (1253), was assigned in 1550 by Edward VI. to foreign Protestant refugees, 'to be their preaching place,' and was ultimately left exclusively to the Dutch, who were by far the most numerous. The spacious nave, dating from 1354, escaped the conflagration of 1666, but was seriously damaged by fire in 1862, and at once restored. The choir, transepts, and steeple were removed after 1600 on account of their dangerous condition. The interior contains several monuments and tombstones of the 14th and subsequent centuries. The Bank is often alluded to as the 'Old Lady of Threadneedle Street,' from the street skirting its south side. Old Broad Street, diverging on the left, leads to Liverpool Street and Broad Street stations. Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-79) lived in Old Broad St. (tablet on No. 24), and Cardinal Newman (1801-90) was born there (house demolished). Farther to the east in Threadneedle St., beyond Finch Lane, stands MERCHANT TAYLORS' HALL, the largest of the livery company halls, erected in the latter part of the 14th century. The roof was destroyed and the walls damaged by the Great Fire, but the main building escaped destruction (admission on application to a member). The company, incorporated in 1327, has an income of �50,000 and maintains the Charterhouse School. The large hall, adorned with stained glass and armorial bearings, contains portraits of royal and distinguished personages, including Henry VIII., by Paris Bordone; the Duke of York, by Lawrence; Pitt, by Hoppner; and Wellington, by Wilkie. The old plate is very valuable. The little Crypt is interesting. On the north side of Threadneedle St., farther on, stood South Sea House, the London headquarters of the South Sea Bubble. Charles Lamb was a clerk here for a time before he went to India House (1792). The Sun Fire Insurance Office (No. 63, north side) is a good example of Cockerell's work. Threadneedle St. ends at Bishopsgate.