Aldersgate the London Roman Wall

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. [repeated from last section]

The wall travelled roughly westwards and then roughly southwards around what is now Monkwell square. The City Wall and Tower is marked on the google earth image below. It puts it into context, with St Giles church and its churchyard just above this mapping.

The City Wall and Tower is marked on the google earth image
The City Wall and Tower is marked on the google earth image

It then runs down the western side of St Olaves church to Falcon square; followed by being to the left of Noble street southwards; and then turning sharp left and westwards between what was the Castle and Falcon Hotel, and St Ann And St Agnes church. And so to Aldersgate street.

Part of London Wall, near Falcon square
Part of London Wall, near Falcon square
Old and new showing the London Wall flyover now compared with an 1890s scene
Old and new showing the London Wall flyover now compared with an 1890s scene

Not many people know this, well maybe they do. The Museum of London at the Barbican is inside of the Aldersgate street rotunda, the address is actually 150 London Wall. London is quite confusing, as it is vast, and changes drastically through time.

Sections of the London Roman Wall at the London Museu, in May 2019
Sections of the London Roman Wall at the London Museu, in May 2019

The NLS ordnance survey maps side by side are brilliant.

East of Aldersgate Street. In 1922, during excavations on the site of the Castle and Falcon Hotel and its yard in Aldersgate Street, a piece of the wall was found running East and West. 

Map showing te outline of the London Wall, Falcon street, Falcon square, Castle and Falcon Hotel, Little Britain etc.
Map showing te outline of the London Wall, Falcon street, Falcon square, Castle and Falcon Hotel, Little Britain etc.

Early maps tend to show the line of the London Wall, and along with google earth, you can often map the comparisons. Its all there, just not always in the expected places. Some of it is also now hidden inside newer buildings, behind office blocks or just demolished.

Castle & Falcon Inn, General Coach & Waggon Office Aldersgate Street - in May 1827 drawn by George Scharf
Castle & Falcon Inn, General Coach & Waggon Office Aldersgate Street – in May 1827 drawn by George Scharf

The last section of thei post takes us to the junction of Aldersgate street (the bottom), and St Martins le Grand. It includes the site of the Mourning Bush Tavern, latterly called the Raglan Hotel, and latterly the Lord Raglan. In Elizabethan times, it had been known as the Fountain. It was still in existence in 2007, and appears to be a Greene King pub now, although I know Greene King have been selling off all of their pubs. No doubt investing in French wine bars instead with brexit looming.

If you want a decent read about the Mourning Bush history, its on my Londontaverns site, and the pub is latterly listed on my pubwiki with even more great detail.

Lord Raglan, 61 St Martins le Grand - in February 2007
Lord Raglan, 61 St Martins le Grand – in February 2007

The wall then turns west and passes the other very old inn, the Bull and Mouth, latterly the Queens Hotel from 1831 to 1888. This became the exact site of the new General Post Office ; and that appears to reamin of this is the Postmans Park.

St. Botolph, Aldersgate churchyard, South side.
In 1887, in clearing a site for post-office buildings, a stretch of 131 feet of the wall was exposed. The inner face of the wall now forms the North side of the basement area. A total height of 14 feet 4 inches of Roman work was seen.

I am not certain what has happened to the section of wall – more to follow on that subject..

Next section is the Christ’s Hospital site – sections 32 to 35

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