The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 29 From The Bank To The Angel


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29. FROM THE BANK TO THE ANGEL. STATIONS: Moorgate, on the Metropolitan Railway; Moorgate, Old Street, City Road, and Angel, on the City and South London Tube; Moorgate and Old Street, on the Great Northern and City Tube. OMNIBUSES Nos. 43, 143, 144. TRAMWAYS Nos. 5, 9, 15. From the junction of Princes St. and Lothbury, near the north-west corner of the Bank of England, the wide MOORGATE runs north, ending at London Wall, where once stood the Moorgate, built in 1415 and pulled down in 1761. Parallel with this street, to the west, runs Coleman Street, in which is the church of St. Stephen, rebuilt by Wren after the Great Fire, with a curious relief on the gate of the churchyard. At Nos. 25-29 is the Wool Exchange. Farther north, at the junction of Coleman St. and London Wall, stands Armourers' Hall, founded about the middle of the 15th century, spared by the Fire, but rebuilt in 1840. It contains some interesting armour and old plate. London Wall to the west of this point has already been described. In its right (east) branch are Carpenters' Hall, a handsome building of 1876-80, at the corner of Throgmorton Avenue, with some old pictures and plate (shown on introduction), and the church of All Hallows on the Wall (open 7-9 & 10-4), by the younger Dance (1765-67). The pulpit of this church is entered by steps leading through the wall from the vestry, which is supposed to be built with the materials and on the site of an old Roman bastion. A fragment of the old city wall may be seen in the churchyard. Beyond London Wall the line of Moorgate is continued by Finsbury Pavement, with underground Moorgate Stations on the left and right. John Keats was born in 1795 at No. 24 (rebuilt). Moorfields, a parallel street on the west, preserves the memory of the marshy district outside the old Moorgate, once the resort of archers, washerwomen, and (later) of booksellers. Fore St. leads west to St. Giles Cripplegate. Farther on the short West St. leads to Finsbury Circus, now almost entirely surrounded by imposing modern offices. The 'classic' building on the north side of the circus, now the home of the SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL STUDIES (1916; a school of London University), was occupied from 1819 until 1912 by the London Institution, a proprietary body established by royal charter in 1806 for 'the diffusion of useful knowledge' by means of lectures, etc. The School of Oriental Studies provides instruction in circa 40 different tongues, ancient and modern (circa 400 students; 20 teachers). The bulk of the reference library of the London Institution (of which Porson, the famous Greek scholar, was the first librarian) has been transferred to the School of Oriental Studies, while the remainder has been distributed between the British Museum and the Guildhall Library.