Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 1

Wilkinson, Robert


Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses.

Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses.




The in the plate, stood on the site of the present Durham Yard, and occupied that space of ground now covered by the buildings of the It was for many ages the town residence of the Bishops of Durham, and was erected, according to Stowe, by Thomas de Hatfield, who was made Bishop of that see in .[*]  Mr. Pennant says, it was originally built by the famous Anthony Bec, Bishop of Durham in the reign of Edward I. and that Bishop Hatfield was only a founder.[*] 

Spelman () informs us, that Bishop Tonstal, in Henry VIII. exchanged this mansion with the King for the building called


in , and other premises in London, and converted it into a royal palace. Edward VI. gave it to his sister Elizabeth as a temporary residence: and the see of Durham being soon afterwards dissolved by a smuggled act, which gave its rich possessions to the Crown, the same monarch bestowed Coldharbour on the Earl of Shrewsbury: Queen Mary, who considered the gift as sacrilege, permitted the Earl to retain Coldharbour; but to compensate the see of Durham for that loss, gave her reversion of to the Bishop next in succession, when Elizabeth's life-interest expired. In consequence of this grant, Sir Walter Raleigh (to whom the Queen had given the use of it during her life) was in the next reign obliged to resign the possession to the then Bishop of Durham, Toby Matthew, afterwards Archbishop of York.[*] 



In a new Exchange was built by the Earl of Salisbury, on the site of the stables of this house which fronted , and which were hovels of too mean a description for so public a situation.[*]  The mansion itself was soon afterwards forsaken, and was in purchased and built on by Philip Earl of Pembroke. The Exchange flourished longer, but at length the shops, says Maitland, being deserted by the mercers, were in the year pulled down, and the spot covered with houses. Mr. Smith (Antiq. , p. ) has given the view of a fragment of the front of this Exchange, destroyed in the year , and then called . A small portion of ancient stone wall still remains at the center of Durham Yard.

Salisbury House

Was a noble turretted mansion, built by the famous Secretary Cecil, afterwards Earl of Salisbury, and Lord Treasurer to James I.; evidently in the style of architecture which prevailed at that period. After the founder's death, being thought too extensive for the residence of the then Earl, it was divided into mansions, the lesser of which, itself a large house, was let to persons of quality: some years afterwards it was divided into various tenements, till at length it was purchased by builders, and

Salisbury Street

erected on the site. Another part, adjoining

Great Salisbury House,

and over the long gallery, was converted into an Exchange, and called the Middle Exchange, which consisted of a very long and large room, with shops on both sides, having a passage from down to the water side, at the bottom of which was a handsome flight of stairs to take boat at; but it had, says Strype, the bad luck to be nicknamed

Whore's Nest;

whereby, with the ill fate that attended it, few or no people took shops there, and those that did were soon weary and left them; insomuch that it lay useless, except or shops towards ; and coming into the Earl's hands, this Exchange, with Great Salisbury House, and the houses fronting the street, were pulled down, and converted into a fair street, called .[*]  Worcester House[*] 

Occupied the space of ground now covered by

Beaufort Buildings


It was a very large house, with gardens to the water-side, and had several possessors. In the reign of Henry VIII. it belonged to the see of Carlisle.[*]  It was afterwards inhabited by the Earls of Bedford, and known by the names of Bedford House and Russel House.[*]  From them it came to the Earls of Worcester, when it assumed the name of

Worcester House.

Edward, the last Earl of Worcester, temp. Charles I. lived and died in this house.[*]  From him it descended to his eldest son, Henry, afterwards created Duke of Beaufort. Worcester House changed its name with this new dignity to that of

Beaufort House,

[**]  but does not appear to have been much liked by its noble landlord,

who, finding it to be crazy, and by its antiquity grown ruinous, and although large, yet not after the modern way of building, thought it better to let out the ground to undertakers than to build a new house thereon, the steepness of the descent to the Thames rendered it not proper or easy for coaches, if the house were built at such a distance from the street as would have been requisite; but the said Duke caused a lesser house to be built on part of the site for the conveniency of transacting business when he came to town.

This latter house being afterwards burnt down through the carelessness of a servant, were erected on the site.

Concerning building the old house, says Strype, (he must mean it,) there goes this story: That there being a very large walnut-tree growing in the garden, which much obstructed the eastern prospect of Salisbury House near adjoining, it was proposed to the Earl of Worcester's gardener by the Earl of Salisbury, or his agent, that if he could prevail with his lord to cut down the said tree, he should have .; which offer was told to the Earl of Worcester, who ordered him to do it, and take the .; both which were performed to the great satisfaction of the Earl of Salisbury, as he thought; but there being no great kindness betwixt the Earls, the Earl of Worcester soon caused to be built, in the place of the walnut tree, a large brick house, which then took away the whole east prospect.

Mr. Pennant informs us, that the great Earl of Clarendon lived in this house before his own was built, and paid for it the extravagant rent of . a year.[*] 


[*] So Strype, who quotes the following entry, MS. Will. de Chambre, Bodl. Lib. Oxon. Manerium sive Hospitium Episcopale LONDONIAE, cum capella et cameris sumptuosissime construxit. This Bishop died May 8, 1381, at his manor near London, called Alford, now Oldford, near Stratford-le-Bow. Strype's Stowe, v. ii. p. 2. b. vi.

[*] London ed. 1805, p. 120.

[*] Bishop of Durham's Case.

[*] For an account of this Exchange, and likewise the great feasts held at Durham House by Henry VIII. &c. see Strype and Maitland.

[*] Strype's Stowe, v. ii. p. 120, ed. 1720.

[*] The Bishops of Worcester had a town house or inn in the Strand, which was pulled down, together with that of the Bishop of Chester, by the Protector Somerset, to make way for the erection of Somerset House. This mansion was, however, totally distinct from the above. See Stowe.

[*] Fuller's Church Hist. b. iii. p. 63.

[*] It is called Russel House in Norden's Plan of Middlesex, 1595.

[*] Edward, Earl of Worcester, died at his house in the Strand, 3 Martii 1627, and was buried in St. Mary's chapel, within St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Collins's Peerage, v. i. p. 71.

[**] New View of Lond. v. ii. p. 263.

[*] Tour of Lond. ed. 1805, p. 123.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 Howell's View of London
 View of the Fire of London
 City Wall
 The Conduits of Cheapside and Cornhill
 Plan of the Fire in Bishopsgate Street, Cornhill, and Leadenhall Street: November 7th, 1765
Frost Fair on the River Thames
 Part of the Strand: St. Clement's Danes
 Ancient Structure in Ship Yard: Temple Bar
 St. Paul's Cross and Cathedral: With King James I and his Court at a Sermon
 Ancient Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London
 Paul's Cross (and Preaching There)
Elsinge Spital, Sion College, and the Church of St. Alphage, London Wall
 Elsinge's Hospital; or, as it is otherwise denominated, Elsynge Spittle
 Sion College
 The Priory and Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield
 The Church of St. Bartholomew the Less: Giltspure Street, West Smithfield, in the Ward of Farringdon Without
Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street
The Priory and Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Street
 Monument of Sir Andrew Judde, Knight: In the Church of St. Helen, Bishopsgate Within
St. Michael's Church: Cornhill
The Parish Church of St. Paul, Shadwell: In the County of Middlesex
 The Parish Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill: In Cornhill Ward
Extracts from the Vestry Books of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill
 St. Saviour's Church
 St. Saviour's Church, Southwark
 Winchester Palace, Southwark
 Chapels at the Eastern End of the Church of St. Saviour, Southwark
 Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
 An Account of Bermondsey, its Manor, Priory, and Abbey
 Priory of the Holy Trinity: In the Ward of Aldgate
 St. Martin-le-Grand College, and St. Vedast, Foster Lane
 Guildhall Chapel
 A short Account of Lazar Houses in and near London
 Knightsbridge Chapel
 Lambe's Chapel and Alms-Houses: Monkwell Street, Cripplegate
 The late Mr. Skelton's Meeting House, Erected Near the Site of the Globe Theatre, Maid Lane, Southwark
 Zoar Street, Gravel Lane, Meeting House and School
 Oratory, Under the Antient Mansion, or Inn, of the Priors of Lewes in Sussex
 Whitehall: Plate I
 Whitehall: Plate II
 Whitehall: Plate III
 St. James's Palace
 Fawkeshall, or Copped Hall, Surrey
 Toten-Hall, Tottenham Court Road
 King John's Palace
 Clarendon House, called also Albemarle House
 Somerset House
 Suffolk House
 York House
 Durham, Salisbury, and Worcester Houses
 Sir Paul Pindar's House
 Montagu House: Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury
 The British Museum
 Bedford House, Bloomsbury Square
 Peterborough House, afterward Grosvenor House, Millbank, Westminster
 Craven House, Drury Lane
 Ancient Mansion called Monteagle House: Montague Close, Southwark
 Oldbourne Hall, Shoe Lane: In the Parish of St. Andrew, Holborn