The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas


Bridge House.


This foundation appears to be coeval with , and was appointed as a storehouse for stone, timber, and other materials used in that structure.

The bridge house and yard is mentioned in a grant made by the earl of Warren in to the abbot of Battle, hereinafter stated. Stow says that in his time there were spacious granaries here, for laying up wheat and other grain for the service of the city, as need required, and ovens, of which were very large, the other half as big, for baking bread for the poor when need required; that Mr. John Thrastone or Thorston, citizen and goldsmith, of the sheriffs in , gave by his testament the sum of towards building these ovens, which was performed by his executors, sir John Munday, goldsmith, being then lord mayor; that an old brewhouse was added, given to the city by George Monox, same time mayor, in place of which a new had been built to serve the city with beer.

Amongst the Harleian MSS. is the following curious order:--

An order takyn and made for the sheuteman by us Symond Ryse and William Campion, wardens of London bridge, as followeth:

Forasmuche as diverse and sundry nights the sheuteman bath occasyon to ryse in the night seison to come to his boats to see the tydes as they fall erly or late for the besinessse of the bridge house, soe that of necessity the porter moste open him the gate att vndue tymes of the night, contrary to the ordinances made for the same, which ys not onely to his greete payne and daunger, but also to the greete peril and daunger that myght fall to the howse, for when the gates be opened att ded tymes of the night yt is to be doutyd that some lewed persons myght entre in after them, and not onely robbe thys howse, but also putt in daungre of theyr lives so many as be within. For remedye whereof we the sayde wardene have ordeyned and apoynted a lodging to be made att the ende of the Crane-howse within the bridge-howse yarde, with a chemnye in the same lodging, and sufficient for two or three persons to lye in yt, to the entente that the sheuteman with such persons as of necessitye he moste have with hem for causes requysyte for the tydes, may lye there drye and tarye theyre tydes when thaye fall in the night verey erly or late having besenesse to doe for the howse; and also when thay come from theyre labour weete or at vndue tymes of the night to goo home to their houses, may terye there, and make them fyre to drye them and keepe them warme, of such shyppes as ys hughed of the tymber in the yerd and none other, and not to keepe any hospetelite or dwelling there att eny tyme, but at such tyme and tymes aforerehersed, and accords toold vse and custome, that when the shuteman be daye tyme, being not occupyed with the boats about the reds of the bridge workes, that then he doe all such workes within the bridge house yerde, and in all other places as other labourers doeth, and so to receyve his wages, or els not. And this ordinance to be alwayes kept.

The bridge-house estates are very extensive, and are under the control of a committee of the corporation. In , the wardens of London-bridge, Peter Alford, and Peter Caldecot, paid on account thereof the immense sum of In , the rental was In , ; in , ; in , ; but in , the real and personal property of the bridge-house estates had increased to and in the next year to This immense rental consisted of

proper rents,

or those arising from premises within the city;

foreign rents,

derived from places without London;

quit rents,


lands purchased,

or possessions formerly bought of the crown.

The bridge-house and some adjoining premises have been let to government for keeping their stores.

The government is vested in officers appointed by the city, denominated bridgemasters. The keepers of the bridge-house had anciently an interest in mills upon the river Lea, and were accustomed to repair the bridges at , for which reason the bridge-house arms are still cut on some of those bridges.

At a common council, , anno Henry VIII. it was ordered that the seal of the bridge-house should be changed, because the image of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, was engraven therein, and a new seal to be made, devised by Mr. Hall, to whom the old seal was delivered. This was occasioned by a proclamation, commanding the names of the pope and Thomas a Becket to be put out of all books and monuments; which is the reason that they are so often seen blotted out in old chronicles, legends, primers, and service-books printed before those times.

In , some old granaries in , which belonged to the city, were taken down. They were built with chesnut. An inscription was found that they were begun and finished at the charge of the bridge-house, when sir George Barn was lord mayor in . ZZZ SO FAR



At the bridge foot was a house called

The Nonnes Head,

late part of the possessions of St. Helen's. It belonged to Humphrey Brooke in Eliz. .


[] No. 6016.

[] Chronicles of London bridge, p. 619.

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 Title Page
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda