Cheapside Treasures

One of the best places to explore old parish boundary markers in the City is Cheapside. In medieval times, Cheapside was a bustling marketplace; it’s wide street filled with hawkers, pedlars and shops of all kinds. It is still one of the main shopping centres of the City with the huge New Change mall at one end. The developers of New Change have gone out of their way to mount old parish boundary markers on the shiny glass and steel walls of their buildings in an extraordinary juxtaposition of the medieval and the modern.

If you walk down Cheapside you cross the boundaries of nine different parishes in a stroll of a mere 500 yards as you can see in the extract from our ancient parishes guide below. You might wonder why there are so many in such a short space. The answer is that churches could collect tithes (community taxes) from houses and shops inside their parish. Since Cheapside was such a rich commercial centre, every church wanted to own a piece of it. You see the same effect in the Thames riverfront parishes, which tend to be long and thin, each church claiming a small bit of the busy docks and wharfs.

Part of the Ancient London City Parishes Guide

The map below illustrates the location of all the parish boundary markers in the vicinity. Match the numbers to the photos below and see what they look like. A large version of this map is available here

A Cheapside Parishes Map showing boundary markers

19. Blue Plaque of St Mary Woolchurch Haw near Bank tube

The blue plaque of St Mary Woolchurch Haw in the City of London

18. Boundary Markers for St Olave Jewry and St Martin Pomeroy in Fredericks Place

Parish boundary markers for St Olave Old Jewry and St Martin Pomeroy

17. Boundary Marker for St Vedast Foster Lane in Cheapside

Parish boundary marker for St Vedast Foster Lane

16. Boundary markers for St Peter Westcheap and St Matthew Friday Street

Parish boundary markers for St Peter Westcheap and St Matthew Friday Street

15. Blue plaque for St Pancras Soper Lane

Blue plaque of St Pancras Soper Lane

14. Blue Plaque for St Mildred Poultry

Blue Plaque of St Mildred Poultry

13. Boundary markers for St Matthew Friday Street and St Vedast alias Foster

Parish Boundary markers for St Matthew Friday Street and St Vedast alias Foster

12. Blue plaque for St Mary Colechurch

Blue Plaque of St Mary Colechurch

11. Boundary markers for St Martin Pomeroy and St Mary Colechurch

Parish boundary markers for St Mary Colechurch and St Martin Pomeroy

10. Boundary markers for St Mary Magdalene Milk Street and All Hallows Bread Street

Parish boundary markers St Mary Magdalene Milk Street and All Hallows Bread Street

9. Boundary marker for St John the Evangelist in New Change

Parish boundary market for St John the Evangelist

8. Boundary marker for All Hallows Honey Lane and St Mary le Bow

Parish boundary markers for All Hallows Honey Lane and St Mary le Bow

7. Boundary markers for St Mary Magdalene Milk Street and All Hallows Honey Lane

Parish boundary markers for All Hallows Honey Lane and St Mary Magdalene Milk Street

6. Boundary markers for St Mary Aldermary and All Hallows Bread Street

Parish boundary markers for St Mary Aldermary and All Hallows Bread Street

5. Boundary markers for St Peter Westcheap and All Hallows Bread Street

Parish boundary markers for St Peter Westcheap and All Hallows Bread Street

4. Boundary markers for St Faith under St Paul’s

Parish boundary marker for St Faith under St Paul's

3. Blue plaque for St Benet Sherehog

Plaque for St Benet Sherehog

2. A view of the remaining tower of St Augustine Watling Street

St Augustine Watling near St Pauls
  1. Plaque commemorating St Antholin on the wall of St Mary Aldermary
Plaque for St Antholin on the wall of St Mary Aldermary

2 thoughts on “Cheapside Treasures

  1. fitzfitz

    … this is sensationally interesting – and well documented. I had not realised that the City lanes and streets held so many remnants of the past …

    Reply
  2. Pingback: All the Marys - Lost London Churches Project

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