Devereux Court, WC2R

Road in/near Temple, existing between 1675 and now

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Road · Temple · WC2R · Contributed by The Underground Map

Devereux Court lies on the south side of the Strand, opposite the Law Courts.

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One of the earliest buildings ever to occupy this site was Exeter House, built by Bishop Stapledon in the early 1320s as the London residence of the Bishop’s of Exeter. Unfortunately Stapledon happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and in 1326 was set upon by a demonstrating mob, dragged from his horse and relieved of his head by a flying butchers knife.

When Henry VIII decided to split from the Church of Rome this house became the property of the Crown and was leased to William Paget who promptly renamed it Paget House. Then came Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex and bosom pal of Elizabeth I. Learning that Paget House was up for grabs he visited the Queen to test the ground, and finding her in a receptive mood - Elizabeth was not the most predictable of characters - he laid before her his longing to live in the suburbs of the Temple. What an element of surprise came to his face when the Queen granted him a life long tenancy - but it was only play-acting, Devereux knew all along that he could twist the sovereign round his little finger. So harmonious was their friendship that it must have landed on him like a ton of bricks when he found out some years later that Elizabeth had transferred her affections and he was no longer in favour. To obtain revenge, Essex engineered a plot to overthrow the Queen, but when she heard of his pranks, took no time in issuing the order ’off with his head’. He was escorted to the block on Tower Hill in 1601.

By 1675 the Crown had no further use for the property and along with adjoining buildings it was sold to Nicholas Barbon. In his usual style he demolished everything in sight and erected his own designed houses on the land. Devereux Court was described in the late 17th century as ’a large place with good houses, and by reason of its vicinity to the Temple hath a good resort, consisting of public houses and noted coffee houses.’

The court has a somewhat quaint atmosphere although the present buildings are mainly of mock Georgian, built in the 1950s. The Devereux Hotel was the old Grecian Coffee House, so labelled from having been started in 1652 by a Greek named Constantine. He not only served the beverage but held classes of instruction in the art of infusing the beans. Most of the great characters of Fleet Street, writers, poets, and plain talkers visited the Grecian Coffee House, but take the evidence from the first edition of the Tatler which gives an outline of the character of selected coffee houses: ’all poetry from Will’s, all foreign and domestic news from St James’, and all leaned articles from the Grecian.’ The Grecian coffee house folded up in 1842.

Whilst the Devereux Hotel received a facelift in 1845 it remains elegant and has the appearance of a stately country hotel. The interior of the Devereux is well in keeping with its exterior, - oak panelling and some fine oak furniture. It is understandable that, with the Temple next door, its clientele come chiefly from the legal profession. It achieved fame many years ago as the consulting rooms of Mrs Sarah Mapp who was renowned for her bone setting techniques.

Devereux Court also boasts a second public house, the Sir Edgar Wallace, built in 1777 on the site of Essex House. Although its address is on Essex Street it does have a side entrance onto the Court. The house received some refurbishment a few years ago and in the process changed its name. It was originally the Essex Head where in 1783 Dr Johnson set up a club ’to ensure himself society in the evenings for three days a week’. On introducing Boswell to the club, Johnson declared him to be ’a very clubable man’.

Twinings, the tea merchants opened their first shop at number 9 Devereux Court in 1710 and the company own the building to this day.

Source: The alleyways and courtyards of London » The Underground Ma

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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.


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Temple is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment. It is the nearest tube station for King's College London and the London School of Economics.

The name comes from the Knights Templar, via Inner Temple and Middle Temple, which are situated nearby.

The station was opened in the parish of St Clement Danes on 30 May 1870 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR; now the District and Circle lines) when the railway extended its line from Westminster to Blackfriars. The construction of the new section of the MDR was planned in conjunction with the building of the Victoria Embankment and was achieved by the cut and cover method of roofing over a shallow trench.

Temple is the only name to be shared by a station of the Paris Metro and a station of the London Underground.

Aldwych:   Aldwych is a closed station on the London Underground; formerly a branch line of the Piccadilly Line.
Courtauld Institute of Art:   The Courtauld Institute of Art is a self-governing college of the University of London specialising in the study of the history of art.
Temple:   Temple is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment. It is the nearest tube station for King's College London and the London School of Economics.
Temple Bar:   Temple Bar is the point in London where Fleet Street, City of London, becomes the Strand, Westminster, and where the City of London traditionally erected a barrier to regulate trade into the city.
Waterloo Bridge:   Waterloo Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge crossing the River Thames in London, England between Blackfriars Bridge and Hungerford Bridge.

Houghton Street (1906):   A greengrocer's on the corner of Houghton Street and Clare Market (behind The Strand) in 1906 just before demolition.
New Inn Passage (1901):   The corner of Houghton Street and New Inn Passage taken on a 1901 photo just prior to the clearence of the area for the Aldwych-Kingsway improvement scheme.
Strand (1890s):   The Strand in the 1890s

Aldwych, WC2 · Arundel Street, WC2R · Australia House, WC2B · Barge House Street, SE1 · Bell Yard, WC2A · Bouverie Street, EC4Y · Breams Buildings, EC4A · Brick Court, EC4Y · Bull Inn Court, WC2R · Carey Street, WC2A · Chancery Lane, EC4A · Chancery Lane, WC2A · Chichester Rents, WC2A · Clare Market, WC2A · Clements Inn, WC2A · Cliffords Inn Passage, EC4A · Cliffords Inn, EC4A · Crane Court, EC4A · Crown Office Row, EC4Y · Cursitor Street, EC4A · Cursitor Street, W1 · Devereux Court, WC2R · Doctor Johnsons Buildings, EC4Y · Drive Johnsons Buildings, EC4Y · Dyers Buildings, EC1N · Embankment, SW6 · Essex Court, EC4Y · Essex Street, WC2R · Exchange Court, WC2R · Falcon Court, EC4Y · Fetter Lane, EC4A · Fleet Street, EC4A · Fleet Street, EC4Y · Fountain Court, EC4Y · Furnival Street, EC4A · Garden Court, EC4Y · Gough Square, EC4A · Great New Street, EC4A · Harcourt Buildings, EC4Y · Hardwicke Building, WC2A · Hare Court, EC4Y · Hare Place, EC4Y · Holborn, EC1N · Houghton Street, WC2A · Inner Temple Lane, EC4Y · King?s Bench Walk, EC4Y · Kings Bench Walk, EC4Y · Lamb Building, EC4Y · Lincolns Inn Fields, WC2A · Little Essex Street, WC2R · London Silver Vaults, WC2A · Maltravers Street, WC2R · Masters House Temple Church, EC4Y · Middle Temple Lane, EC4Y · Milford Lane, WC2R · Mitre Court Buildings, EC4Y · New Fetter Lane, EC1N · New Fetter Lane, EC4A · New Square, WC2A · North East Wing Bush House, WC2B · Norwich Street, EC4A · Old Buildings, WC2A · Old Mitre Court, EC4Y · Old Square, WC2A · Outer Temple, EC4Y · Oxo Tower Wharf Barge House Street, SE1 · Paper Buildings Temple, EC4Y · Paper Buildings, EC4Y · Pemberton Row, EC4A · Pleydell Street, EC4Y · Plough Place, EC4A · Ploughs Place, EC4A · Plowden Buildings, EC4Y · Portsmouth Street, WC2A · Portugal Street, WC2A · Pump Court, EC4Y · Quality Court, WC2A · Red Lion Court, EC4A · River Terrace, W6 · Rolls Passage, EC4A · Sardinia Street, WC2A · Serjeants Inn, EC4Y · Sheffield Street, WC2A · Silver Vaults, WC2A · South East Wing Bush House, WC2B · Southampton Buildings, WC1V · St Clements Lane, WC2A · Staple Inn Buildings North, WC1V · Staple Inn Buildings South, WC1V · Staple Inn Buildings, WC1V · Staple Inn Buildings, WC1X · Staple Inn, WC1V · Star Yard, WC2A · Stone Buildings, WC2A · Surrey Street, WC2R · Temple Avenue, EC4Y · Temple Chambers, EC4Y · Temple Gardens, EC4Y · Temple Pier, WC2R · Temple Place, WC2R · Temple, EC4Y · The Australia Centre, WC2B · The Strand, WC2R · Took?s Court, EC4A · Tooks Court, EC4A · Treasurers Office Inner Temple, EC4Y · Victoria Embankment, WC2R · Watergate, EC4Y ·



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