Christs Hospital , Old Bailey and Ludgate. The Roman London wall

I need to add some modern pictures for this page, althouggh it is an area I don’t yet know very well.

Immediately to the west of  St. Botolph, Aldersgate churchyard is Christs Hospital. This is a little south of St Bartholomews Hospital, and latterly also a General Post Office. It ran along the northern and western section of Newgate street.

There were a number of ecavations which took place, tthe latter being the most interesting. At the North West corner of the wall, a fragment of the Roman structure adjoining the angle-bastion. It was built on the curve, and the base of the plinth was 12 feet below the surface. The substructure was upwards of 6 feet deep. See picture below.

Site of Christs Hospital, now the General Post Office 1909
Site of Christs Hospital, now the General Post Office 1909
Christs Hospital, Newgate street
Christs Hospital, Newgate street

There is nothing left of this grand hospital now. It became the General Post Office, another building to that which is in St Martins le Grand. It appears to now be modern business buildings including Bank of America which houses a section of the wall, and following tips from OnLondon by Vic Keegan, you can walk down the side of the Viaduct Tavern, in Giltspur street (also 126 Newhgate street) as far as the Cafe Nero and then peer into the building. This would certainly match with the western end of the Hospital that once was.

Showing the Viaduct Tavern, and the walkway as far as Caffe Nero - from google earth
Showing the Viaduct Tavern, and the walkway as far as Caffe Nero – from google earth

On the southern side of Newgate street, and along the northern section of Old Bailey was Newgate prison, or gaol, and latterly this is the site of the Central Criminal courst, better known as the Old Bailey.

The Roman London wall passed along the rear of Newgate prison, and apparently there is still a section inside Old Bailey, but you need to be on a guided tour to see it.

Newgate Prison site. On clearing the site for the New Sessions House in 1903, a considerable stretch of the wall, 76 feet in length, was uncovered together with an isolated fragment farther South. 

Town Wall, Newgate Prison site 1903
Town Wall, Newgate Prison site 1903

Further south at what is now the Old Bailey. At Numbers 7-10, Old Bailey. In 1900 a fragment of the wall was uncovered at the rear of No. 8 Old Bailey. It was 8 1/4 feet thick above the foundation and was standing 8 feet high.

Roman Wall, in the Old Bailey
Roman Wall, in the Old Bailey

And south of Ludgate :

The line of the Roman wall from Ludgate to the Thames is badly recorded, including a section under the “Times” Office. The position of a fragment is indicated on a sketch-plan in the Builder, 1855, 221 and 269, showing the line of the wall South of Ludgate in its relationship to the Times building. This has been destroyed.

Times Office
Times Office

The wall subsquently revisits the Thames, and follows back along Upper Thames street and Lower Thames street, to the Tower.

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