The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
This was in early times a play ground for the youth of the city, for shooting with the long bow and other athletic exercises. Part of the eastern side was formerly bounded by the ancient hospital and priory of Bethlem, separated by a deep ditch, now covered by part of , or, as it was formerly called, and is even now better known, Broker's-row; the lower part of the fields was divided into squares impaled, and each square planted regularly with elm trees round a grass plat. Between these squares, or quarters as they were generally called, were broad gravel walks from east to west, and from north to south, which, with the trees on each side, formed a tolerable vista, and was so well frequented by the citizens of both sexes in the evenings and fine weather, to walk in, that it obtained the name of the
The upper part, which had been long enclosed with a dwarf wall, continued waste long after the improvement of the lower quarters, and was a rendezvous for the boxers and wrestlers that composed
and for mountebanks, and iron stalls, &c. was, in the time of Edward II. of so little value, that the whole of it was let at the rate of a year. It could only be passed on causeways raised for the benefit of travellers.
He also began to drain this watery tract. In , Roger Achely, mayor, made further progress, and successive attempts rendered this large space tolerably dry. Mr. Pennant thus notices the state of :
On the southern portion of , and adjoining was
 P. 252, 4to.