April 6, 2020 By kevan 0

Fleet market and the river

Well, I have always been intrigued by old London and what it really looked like before all of the rebuilding in the 1960s and onwards.

I don’t really remember it much before then. But the internet is an amazing source of old maps and other intriguing detail. And there are also some really remarkable museums today, which bring to life this level of interest.

A lot of this initial interest began with the John Rocque’s online map of 1746. By browsing this you can see a fairly large river called Fleet ditch.

Fleet ditch in 1746

More detail is listed here:

As you can see, it travels up towards Fleet bridge, or what is now known as Holborn viaduct, travelling north from what is now Blackfriars bridge.

Once past (north of) Fleet bridge, where Ludgate and Fleet street meet, is Fleet market. Again, we now know this as Farringdon street.

If you go back far enough, this was a rather large and expansive river system leading northwards from the Thames, to the point where it was wide enough for six ships up to the Fleet bridge, but was also referred to as the ditch, as it was also particularly disgusting, and over time became boarded and enclosed underground to form part of London,s sewer system.

That is just a brief intro, I am currently interested in Fleet market,and through researching the history of some of the public houses, Inns and taverns, it has been useful in tracking address changes over time.

By taking the Johnstones 1818 street directory listing the occupants in Fleet market, which excludes these public house detail, and then adding / superimposing this detail on to this list, it helps to build a picture of the Fleet market area in about 1818.

I think I have listed most of the public hhouses which existed, and here is a quick listing. I use this quite a lot as they are in various different parishes (not always correct).

Fleet market – Fleet street
Length 404 yards. No. of Houses 98.

8 Fleet market is the Market House

16 Fleet market is the Bunch of Grapes

18 Fleet market is the White Swan

At 22 Fleet market is the Wheatsheaf

At 27 Fleet Market is the White Hart

At 28 Fleet market is the Crown and Anchor ,

At 34 Fleet market is the Artichoke

At 2 Fleet market is the Rose Inn,  (I am not sure why this numbering is so strange)

At  47 Fleet Market, was the Key, or Golden Key

At 56 Fleet Market, was the Angel

At 60 Fleet market is the Mail Coach

At 80 Fleet Market is the Hoop & Grapes

That is it at present.