The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 30 The City To The East Of The Bank

Fenchurch Street 1

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Beyond Gracechurch Street the line of Lombard St. is continued by the busy FENCHURCH STREET. In Rood Lane, leading on the right (south) to Eastcheap, is the church of St. Margaret Pattens (open 11-3), with its leaden spire, completed by Wren in 1687 and named from the pattens once made and sold in the lane. Near the vestry door is a painting ascribed to Carlo Maratti (1625-1713), and on the south wall is a large monument to Sir Peter Deme (died 1728), by Rysbrack. The two canopied pews are unique in London. The church possesses other interesting pictures and records dating back to Edward IV. (1461-83). Mincing Lane, diverging to the right and so named from the 'Minchens' or nuns of St. Helen's, who owned part of it, is the headquarters of the wholesale tea and colonial trade. On the east side (No. 41) is the Hall of the Clothworkers, one of the twelve great livery companies, established in the 15th century (admission on application to the Clerk, with introduction). The present building dates from 1860. It contains a loving cup presented by Samuel Pepys, Master of the Company in 1677, and curious gilded statues of James I. and Charles I. (saved from the Great Fire). The garden of the hall is the old churchyard of All Hallows Staining, the only relic of which is its tower (15th century), in Star Alley, near the corner of Mark Lane. The rest of the church, rebuilt in 1675, was demolished in 1870. On the north (left) side of Fenchurch St. is a modern tavern (No. 119) on the site of the Elephant Tavern in which Hogarth is doubtfully reported to have painted four pictures on the wall to settle his score. On the opposite (south) side of Fenchurch Street is Mark Lane (i.e. Mart Lane), the principal seat of the grain trade, with the Old and New Corn Exchanges side by side, the latter dating from 1828 and the former rebuilt in 1881 (chief market on Monday, 11-3). The privilege of holding a fair here was first granted by Edward I. The London Tavern, at the corner of Fenchurch St. and Mark Lane, occupies the site of the 'King's Head,' at which Queen Elizabeth dined on her release from the Tower in 1554. No. 33 Mark Lane, reached by a passage between Nos. 31 and 34, has interesting Renaissance doors and a fine carved staircase. Dr. Isaac Watts was living in Mark Lane when he published his metrical version of the Psalms, being at the time minister of a chapel in an adjacent court.