Holy Trinity, Minories

Church in/near Aldgate, existing until 1899

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Church · Aldgate · EC3N ·
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2018

Holy Trinity, Minories was a Church of England parish church outside the eastern boundaries of the City of London, but within the Liberties of the Tower of London.

A drawing published in 1907 of the west front of the Church of Holy Trinity, Minories
Credit: Uncredited
The parish covered an area previously occupied by the precincts of the Abbey of the Minoresses of St. Clare without Aldgate, founded by Edmund Crouchback, in 1293, for a group of Spanish nuns of the Order of St. Clare who arrived with his wife. The nuns were also known as the Minoresses – which came to be adapted as the name for the district, Minories. The nunnery was surrendered to the Crown in 1539, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the buildings, excluding the chapel, were used as an armory for the Tower of London, and later, as a workhouse. Some of the abbey buildings survived until their destruction by fire in 1797.

The liberty was incorporated in the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney in 1899, and today is within the City of London.

The nuns’ chapel became a parish church. Considerable changes were made to the building: all the ancient monuments were removed, a gallery, a new pulpit and pews were installed, and a steeple was built. The first recorded reference to a dedication to the Holy Trinity dates from 1563. Later in the 16th century, the church was a Puritan stronghold, where both John Field and Thomas Wilcox preached. Until 1730, the church claimed the rights of a royal peculiar – including freedom from the authority of the Bishop of London; and the right to perform marriages "without licence".

Monuments in the church included those for William Legge (1608-1670), a commander for King Charles I during the English Civil War, his wife, Elizabeth Washington (distantly related to George Washington) and their son, George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth. In 1849, a mummified head was found in the under-floor vaults, which was reputed to be that of Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, who had been executed for treason by Queen Mary I in 1554. The head was displayed in a glass case in the vestry, but later went to St Botolph’s Aldgate where it was interred in a vault and eventually buried in the churchyard in 1990.

The church escaped the Great Fire of London but fell into disrepair and was rebuilt in brick in 1706, retaining the north wall of the medieval building. The new church was a plain structure, a single space undivided by pillars or columns, 63 feet long and 20 feet wide, built at a cost of £700. The bells were housed in a wooden turret above the projecting porch.

In 1899, the church was closed under the provisions of the Union of Benefices Act 1860 and united with the parish of St Botolph’s Aldgate. The pulpit was taken to All Saints Church, East Meon in 1906. The former church was used as a parish room until destroyed by bombing during the Second World War. The medieval north wall survived until the clearance of the site in 1956–8.

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VIEW THE ALDGATE AREA IN THE 1750s
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.

VIEW THE ALDGATE AREA IN THE 1800s
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.

VIEW THE ALDGATE AREA IN THE 1830s
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.

VIEW THE ALDGATE AREA IN THE 1860s
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.

VIEW THE ALDGATE AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Aldgate

Aldgate was a gateway through London Wall from the City of London to Whitechapel and the East End.

It is thought that a gate at Aldgate was already spanning the road to Colchester in the Roman period, when the City wall itself was constructed. The gateway stood at the corner of the modern Duke's Place and was always an obstacle to traffic. It was rebuilt between 1108–47, again in 1215, and reconstructed completely between 1607-09. The gate was finally removed in 1761; it was temporarily re-erected at Bethnal Green.

While he was a customs official, from 1374 until 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer occupied apartments above the gate. The Augustinians priory of Holy Trinity Aldgate was founded by Matilda, the wife of King Henry I, in 1108, on ground just inside the gate.

Within Aldgate ward, Jews settled from 1181, until their expulsion in 1290 by King Edward I. The area became known as Old Jewry. Jews were welcomed back by Oliver Cromwell, and once again they settled in the area, founding London's oldest synagogue at Bevis Marks in 1698.

At Aldgate's junction with Leadenhall Street and Fenchurch Street is the site of the old Aldgate Pump. From 1700 it was from this point that distances were measured into the counties of Essex and Middlesex. The original pump was taken down in 1876, and a 'faux' pump and drinking fountain was erected several yards to the west of the original; it was supplied by water from the New River. In ancient deeds, Alegate Well is mentioned, adjoining the City wall, and this may have been the source (of water) for the original pump. A section of the remains of Holy Trinity Priory can be seen through a window in a nearby office block, on the north side.

The area around the large traffic roundabout to the east of where the gate stood is also often referred to as Aldgate (although strictly, this is Aldgate High Street, and extends a short distance into Whitechapel; it is also known occasionally by the epithet 'Gardiners' Corner', in honour of a long-disappeared department store).

Aldgate underground station was opened on 18 November 1876 with the southbound extension to Tower Hill opening on 25 September 1882, completing the (Inner) Circle. Services from Aldgate originally ran far further west than they do now, reaching as far as Richmond, and trains also used to run from Aldgate to Hammersmith (the Hammersmith & City line now bypasses the station). It became the terminus of the Metropolitan line only in 1941. Before that, Metropolitan trains had continued on to the southern termini of the East London Line.

Platforms 1 and 4 at Aldgate are the only two platforms on the network to be served exclusively by the Circle line.
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Maps


Cole's map of Aldgate Ward (1754) FREE DOWNLOAD
Aldgate Ward with its divisions into Precincts and Parishes according to a new Survey 1754. B. Cole
B. Cole

Central London, north east (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north east.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Cruchley's New Plan of London (1848) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cruchley's New Plan of London Shewing all the new and intended improvements to the Present Time. - Cruchley's Superior Map of London, with references to upwards of 500 Streets, Squares, Public Places & C. improved to 1848: with a compendium of all Place of Public Amusements also shewing the Railways & Stations.
G. F. Cruchley

Cary's New And Accurate Plan of London and Westminster (1818) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cary's map provides a detailed view of London. With print date of 1 January 1818, Cary's map has 27 panels arranged in 3 rows of 9 panels, each measuring approximately 6 1/2 by 10 5/8 inches. The complete map measures 32 1/8 by 59 1/2 inches. Digitising this map has involved aligning the panels into one contiguous map.
John Cary

John Rocque Map of London (1762) FREE DOWNLOAD
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured.
Chapman and Hall, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1836) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Insets: A view of the Tower from London Bridge -- A view of London from Copenhagen Fields. Includes views of facades of 25 structures "A comparison of the principal buildings of London."
Chapman and Hall, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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