The Underground Map is a project which is creating street histories for the areas of London and surrounding counties lying inside the M25.
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Wellclose Square lies between Cable Street to the north and The Highway to the south. On a site east of Tower Hill, Edward III founded the Cistercian abbey of St Mary Graces in 1350. Gardens and open lands to the abbey’s east included a square field of about ten acres known as Well Close.
Wellclose Square was part of the ancient parish of Stepney. This was later divided into Whitechapel (by 1329), Wapping (1694) and St George in the East (1729). The boundaries of these parishes met in Wellclose Square.
Daniel Defoe mentions Wellclose Square is his "A tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain" (1724). He says that there used to be a well in the centre of the square which was also known as Goodman’s Field’s Well.
In 1682, Nicholas Barbon leased the Liberty of Wellclose (or Well Close) from the Crown and intended to attract richer members of the local maritime community to his new Wellclose development - to be renamed ’Marine Square’.
New roads north and south, initially Little Cable Street and Ne...»more