The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas

1827

Sir Paul Pindar's House.

 

This curious building is situated near the London workhouse, on the west side of , and is well known by the bow and vast extent of windows along the front. The interior was formerly very curious and rich in carved work, the principal part of which has been destroyed in the most wanton manner.

On the floor was an elegant room filled with stucco and carved work, and presenting a fine specimen of the decorative style of the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth. Mr. J. T. Smith, who made a drawing of it in , and engraved it in his Ancient Topography of London, thus describes it:

The ceiling was lath and plaster, together with all its ornaments, and also those of the upper cornice and frieze, including the upper half of the chimney-piece. On the latter was a basso relievo, of two miserably modelled figures of Hercules and Atlas supporting the globe, which the artist, if the person who produced such a thing may be so called, thought proper to make of the shape of an egg.

All the carvings, and every other part of the room, under the upper frieze, were of oak, excepting the lower half of the chimney-piece, which was of stone.

Some parts of the sculpture of the chimney-piece were by no means so badly executed, as the before mentioned basso relievo, particularly the figures in fruit baskets, (caryatidae) supporting the two tablets of stag hunting, the latter of which were precisely a repetition of each other. I have reason to believe that the two adjoining houses, to the south, together with this, were originally one fabric; as fragments of similar ceilings, and grotesque figures of the same workmanship, are still visible in them: and indeed, when we recollect that this house, commonly called sir Paul Pindar's, has only one room on a floor, the back part being occupied by a staircase, we cannot suppose that so eminent a person, holding the rank of a first-rate merchant, and indeed an ambassador. enjoying the countenance of king James, and his son Charles the First, could possibly make any figure in a house containing only four rooms.

In September and , the whole of the ornaments of this room were cut away, and the room rendered, what the possessor was pleased to call

a little comfortable.

The style of architecture used, was that known by the name of king James's Gothic, though it is clear it was in use in London in the reign of Elizabeth.

The only remains are the ceiling and the carved oak window frames; the is in excellent preservation, the pendants and shield of arms in the ceiling being quite perfect.

In Half-moon alley, behind this house, is a low plaister building, known as sir Paul Pindar's garden-house, formerly ornamented with medallions, &c. in stucco-work, the whole of which were destroyed in .

On the east side of , is a court called Montague-court, in which was formerly a mansion called , the residence and property of sir John Harrison, kt. of Balls, in the county of Hertford, in .

Between and , a new church is to be erected, the site is purchased, and preparations are now making to pull down or houses on the south side of , and several behind, with a view of excavating for a foundation.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Anc. Topog. of London, 4to, p. 51.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward