Farringdon Without History of the Most Interesting Places, Leading Events; and Some Account of the Eminent Men connected therewith, since the year 1600

Francis, Adolphus Decimus

1870

The Belle Sauvage Yard

Is situated on the north side. The derivation of the term Belle Sauvage, is shrouded in mystery; by some it is defined as a beautiful woman, supposed to have been found in a wood or wilderness; by some its derivation is pronounced as arising from a picture of a Bell and a Savage; and by others, that it took its name from one Isabella Savage, who held some right to this property, and ceded it to the Cutlers' Company: it matters little which derivation is correct. In the yard was situated the Belle Sauvage Inn, some portion of which is still standing; the building was a fine specimen of the "Players' Inn," before regular theatres were built, and there they performed their mysteries and their mummeries in the open air.

At No. 11 , Belle Sauvage Yard, lived Grinling Gibbons

37

the eminent wood carver, whose celebrated carved nosegay, that the slightest zephyr could put in motion, so that the flowers, in their grace and beauty, deceived the most practised eye, was pronounced the most perfect chef d'ouvre ever seen. Gibbons was the sculptor of the celebrated work of art in the Royal Exchange, the figure of Charles II., adorned with all the beauty and finish of the most elaborate workmanship. A large section of the yard is covered now by the immense printing establishment of Messrs. Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, who have done more to educate the people by their popular literature than any modern publishers.