Devereux Court, EC4Y

Road in/near Westminster, existing between 1675 and now

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Road · Westminster · EC4Y ·
MAY
6
2017

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

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, WC2R" target="_top">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.


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The Underground Map   
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Scott Hatton   
Added: 11 Sep 2020 19:47 GMT   

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A rat plague, unprecedented in the annals of London, has broken out on the north side of the Strand. The streets principally infested are Catherine street, Drury lane, Blackmore street, Clare Market and Russell street. Something akin to a reign of terror prevails among the inhabitants after nightfall. Women refuse to pass along Blackmore street and the lower parts of Stanhope street after dusk, for droves of rats perambulate the roadways and pavements, and may be seen running along the window ledges of the empty houses awaiting demolition by the County Council in the Strand to Holborn improvement scheme.

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In the bar the removal of a panel disclosed the astonishing fact that the rats have dragged for a distance of seven or eight yards some thirty or forty beer and wine bottles and stacked them in such a fashion as to make comfortable sleeping places. Mr Williams. the manager of the restaurant, estimates that the rats have destroyed L200 worth of linen. Formerly the Gaiety Restaurant dined 2000 persons daily; no business whatever is now done in this direction.

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Source: Batham/Wiseman - Family Tree

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Temple Place, WC2R Temple Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
Temple, EC4Y A street within the EC4Y postcode
The Arcade, WC2B The Arcade is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area.
The Australia Centre, WC2B The Australia Centre is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area.
The Edmund J. Safra Fountain Court, WC2R The Edmund J. Safra Fountain Court is a road in the WC2R postcode area
The Macadam Building Street, WC2R The Macadam Building Street is a location in London.
The Strand, WC2R The Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2R postal area.
The Strand, WC2R The Strand is one of the streets of London in the WC2N postal area.
Tudor Street, EC4Y Tudor Street is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area.
Tweezer’s Alley, WC2R Tweezer’s Alley probably got its name after the tweezers used by smiths to heat items in the forge that stood there.
Victoria Embankment, EC4Y Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment scheme of 19th-century civil engineering that reclaimed land next to the River Thames.
Victoria Embankment, WC2R Victoria Embankment runs from the Houses of Parliament to Blackfriars Bridge.
Water Street, WC2R This is a street in the WC2R postcode area
Watergate, EC4Y Watergate is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area.
Wellington Street, WC2E Wellington Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2E postal area.
Wellington Terrace, WC2E Wellington Terrace is a street in Paddington.
Whitefriars Street, EC4Y Whitefriars Street is one of the streets of London in the EC4Y postal area.
Wild Court, WC2B Wild Court leads west from the Kingsway.
Wild Street, WC2B Wild Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2B postal area.
Wine Office Court, EC4A Wine Office Court is one of the streets of London in the EC4A postal area.

NEARBY PUBS
All Bar One Holborn This is a bar which was still existing in 2018.
Cella Karaoke Lounge This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Corney & Barrow Wine Bars This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
El Vino Fleet Street El Vino Fleet Street
Grand Union This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Hercules Pillar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Jamie’s Wine Bar and Restaurant This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Kanaloa This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Knights Templar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Pegasus Bar This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Punch Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Secrets This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Slug and Lettuce This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Bridewell Theatre This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Crown and Sugar Loaf This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Draft House This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Hack & Hop This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Harrow This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Hoop & Grapes This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Old Bell Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The Seven Stars This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
The White Swan This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Tipperary This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.
Ye Olde Cock Tavern This pub existed immediately prior to the 2020 global pandemic and may still do so.


Westminster

Westminster - heart of government.

While the underground station dates from 1868, Westminster itself is almost as old as London itself. It has a large concentration of London’s historic and prestigious landmarks and visitor attractions, including the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

Historically part of the parish of St Margaret in the City and Liberty of Westminster and the county of Middlesex, the name Westminster was the ancient description for the area around Westminster Abbey the West Minster, or monastery church, that gave the area its name which has been the seat of the government of England (and later the British government) for almost a thousand years.

Westminster is the location of the Palace of Westminster, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The area has been the seat of the government of England for almost a thousand years. Westminster is thus often used as a metonym for Parliament and the political community of the United Kingdom generally. The civil service is similarly referred to by the area it inhabits, Whitehall, and Westminster is consequently also used in reference to the ’Westminster System’, the parliamentary model of democratic government that has evolved in the United Kingdom.

The historic core of Westminster is the former Thorney Island on which Westminster Abbey was built. The Abbey became the traditional venue of the coronation of the kings and queens of England. The nearby Palace of Westminster came to be the principal royal residence after the Norman conquest of England in 1066, and later housed the developing Parliament and law courts of England. It can be said that London thus has developed two distinct focal points: an economic one in the City of London; and a political and cultural one in Westminster, where the Royal Court had its home. This division is still very apparent today.

The monarchy later moved to the Palace of Whitehall a little towards the north-east. The law courts have since moved to the Royal Courts of Justice, close to the border of the City of London.

The Westminster area formed part of the City and Liberty of Westminster and the county of Middlesex. The ancient parish was St Margaret; after 1727 split into the parishes of St Margaret and St John. The area around Westminster Abbey formed the extra-parochial Close of the Collegiate Church of St Peter surrounded bybut not part ofeither parish. Until 1900 the local authority was the combined vestry of St Margaret and St John (also known as the Westminster District Board of Works from 1855 to 1887), which was based at Westminster City Hall on Caxton Street from 1883. The Liberty of Westminster, governed by the Westminster Court of Burgesses, also included St Martin in the Fields and several other parishes and places. Westminster had its own quarter sessions, but the Middlesex sessions also had jurisdiction. The area was transferred from Middlesex to the County of London in 1889 and the local government of Westminster was reformed in 1900 when the court of burgesses and parish vestries were abolished, to be replaced with a metropolitan borough council. The council was given city status, allowing it to be known as Westminster City Council.

The underground station was opened as Westminster Bridge on 24 December 1868 by the steam-operated Metropolitan District Railway (MDR) (now the District line) when the railway opened the first section of its line from South Kensington. It was originally the eastern terminus of the MDR and the station cutting ended at a concrete wall buffered by timber sleepers. The approach to the station from the west runs in cut and cover tunnel under the roadway of Broad Sanctuary and diagonally under Parliament Square. In Broad Sanctuary the tunnel is close to Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s church and care was required to avoid undermining their foundations when excavating in the poor ground found there.

The station was completely rebuilt to incorporate new deep-level platforms for the Jubilee line when it was extended to the London Docklands in the 1990s. During the works, the level of the sub-surface platforms was lowered to enable ground level access to Portcullis House. This was achieved in small increments carried out when the line was closed at night.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Smithfield Market
TUM image id: 1620388545
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Waterloo Bridge on an 1810 map.
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Farringdon Street, EC4M
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Kirby Street sign
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Poppins Court EC4
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In the neighbourhood...

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The old wooden Temple Bar
Credit: Walter Thornbury
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Waterloo Bridge on an 1810 map.
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William Davenant had Lisle
Credit: Henry Herringman, London, 1673
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At the southern end of Carmelite Street in the City of London stood the Victorian-era Whitefriars Fire Station.
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Red Lion Street c. 1900, looking north to Javens Chambers and Clerkenwell Road
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Postcard of the then-new Victoria Embankment (1890s) The Victoria Embankment was primarily designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. It incorporates the main low level interceptor sewer and the underground District Line over which a wide road and riverside walkway were built.
Old London postcard
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Yorkshire Grey Yard street sign
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View of the entrance to Lincolns Inn Fields in Duke Street.
Credit: John Crowther
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Oswaldestre House, Norfolk Street.
Credit: Bedford Lemere and Company
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View of the junction of Howard Street and Norfolk Street (1880).
Credit: John Crowther
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