Walk the wall 4. The Wall via Moorgate and along the Roman London Wall

London Wall as it exists today was appropriately named from the Roman London Wall which ran along it, and being the northern section of this Roman wall fortification.

The Scottish maps site is rather excellent for the use of old Ordnance survey maps alongside each other, and these I link to are good at showing detail of the wall in the 1890s (not the 1990s). Also the brilliant Layers of London offers a different perspective of very localised plans and maps from 1270 onwards.

The most eastern section, and also east of All Hallows Church. In 1905 a small portion of the wall was uncovered at a distance of 45 foot East of All Hallows Church

The churchyard itself is an amazing place to see a living section of the wall discovered in 1905, and here in 2019.

Allhallows on the Wall - London wall in May 2019
Allhallows on the Wall – London wall in May 2019

Moving west, is Blomfield street (earler called Little Moorfields), and on its west corner an excavation for sewers in 1837 found. It was on the eastern corner of Bethlem Hospital in 1799.

London Wall and Bethlem Hospital oposite Carpenters Hall in 1799
London Wall and Bethlem Hospital oposite Carpenters Hall in 1799

Several descriptions of the archaelogical digs which followed are described here. The places mentioned in the reports include Carpenters Hall on the south side of the wall, Finsbury chambers on the north side, and also there is a public house at the corner of London Wall and Great Winchester street which appears to be the Crown and Cushion later addressed as 28 Great winchester street until about 1956.

The next section mentioned is between Throgmorton avenue (south side of London Wall) and Moorgate street. The northern section of Moorgate street was earlier called Finsbury pavement (for information); and earlier this was called Fore street, Cripplegate. Here you will find the Globe public house which has had a variety of addresses through the years it existed, and was once next to the Castle, and many other pubs as can be seen in the 1832 street listing of Fore street.

The greater part of this long stretch of wall was standing until 1817, when it formed the back-enclosure of Bethlehem Hospital. It was destroyed at this time, and road widening occurred. The hospital then moved to St Georges fields, Southwark in 1815 having been along the northern side of the London Wall since about 1675.

Moving along the south side of the wall from Throgmorton avenue, is Copthall avenue (earlier called Little Bell alley). It was at this point adjoining the Swan’s Nest Tavern . . . which yet stands, that in the year 1835 an interesting discovery of  remains was made. A pit or well was disclosed which had been carefully planked with boards, and which was found to contain a store of earthenware vessels of divers patterns and capacities,. A branch of the Walbrook (the now underground river or sewerage system) passed under the wall a little West of Little Bell Alley (now Copthall Avenue).

The London Wall, immediately West of Moorgate Street. In 1882 a stretch of about 43 feet of the wall was uncovered on the site of a house said wrongly, by Loftus Brock, to be No. 55, and was found to underly the street-frontage

Moving along some way along the London Wall, we reach Aldermanbury. The Aldermanbury postern was at about 132 London Wall. This seems to have disappeared as regards the northen section of Aldermanbury and is today, a mass of new and high rise office buildings.

Town Wall, Aldermanbury Postern 1857
Town Wall, Aldermanbury Postern 1857

This at about 140 London Wall, which I think should be Adermanbury

140 London Wall, which I think should be Adermanbury
140 London Wall, which I think should be Adermanbury in google maps

We arrive at St Alphage churchyard, although this is not deemed to be part of the Roman London wall.

Looking at a modern map showing the London Wall ‘street’ it looks like the original ‘street’ was slightly further north at this point, and is now superseded by a more recent fly over which veer slightly south south west.

Monkwell square (northern part) is the newer name for Hart street along which the Roman wall travelled along just to the north; and as far as St Giles church where the Roman Wall turnes directlry southwards.

St. Alphage Churchyard, London Wall - in May 2019
St. Alphage Churchyard, London Wall – in May 2019

Next we arrive at Aldersgate.

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