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Eastcheap

Eastcheap is a road in the City of London. Its name derives from cheap, market, with the prefix "East" distinguishing it from the other former City of London market of 'Westcheap' (now known as Cheapside). In medieval times Eastcheap was the City's main meat market, with butchers' stalls lining both sides of the street. The market is now long gone. Eastcheap leads from Gracechurch Street at the western end, to Great Tower Street at the eastern end.

It is notable as the former location of Falstaff's Boar's Head Inn, featured in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One and Henry IV, Part Two.

The road leads from an intersection with Gracechurch, Cannon Street, and King William Street in the west, near Monument tube station east, and transforms into Great Tower Street to the east. Eastcheap formerly extended further to the west, but this section was eliminated when King William Street was built to provide a new access to London Bridge in the early 19th century. Falstaff's famed tavern, which stood in the western section of the road, was demolished at this time.

The ghost of the erased western section of Eastcheap is recalled in the name of the church of St Clement Eastcheap which, despite its name, is now left stranded to the north of King William Street, somewhat to the west of present day Eastcheap.

On the north side is St Margaret Pattens church , on the corner with Rood Lane. On the south side, in an alleyway called Lovat Lane, is St Mary-at-Hill. Also on the south side is Botolph Lane, where a Wren church, St. George Botolph Lane used to stand until it was demolished in 1904. Just to the west of Botolph Lane is Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London began. Looking to the east, down Great Tower Street, you can see All Hallows-by-the-Tower. At 16 Eastcheap is the Monument branch of Citibank. This was the site of St Andrew Hubbard church, destroyed in the fire of London and not rebuilt. It was replaced by the King's Weigh House. Foreign merchants were required to weigh their goods here, but this law was not enforced. In 1695 it became a chapel for dissenters. In 1834 they moved to larger premises in Fish Street Hill, at the eastern end of Eastcheap. That area is now occupied by an exit of the Monument tube station. In 1891 Alfred Waterhouse built another Weigh House church, on Duke Street. This church was so magnificent that nearby Robert street was renamed Weighhouse Street in honour of it. The economist Thomas Mun (1571 - 1641) was baptised in St Andrew Hubbard on Eastcheap. During excavation of the site the foundations had stones that had the character of Roman workmanship, and Samian pottery was discovered.

The building at 33-35 Eastcheap is a notable example of Victorian Gothic.

References

Smith, A (1970) Dictionary of City of London Street Names. David and Charles: Newton Abbot.

See also

33-35 Eastcheap

External links

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