The Manor of Paris Gardens

I was intrigued by ‘Paris Gardens Manor’ and followed the route below, but then found another map by Patrick Sweeney, which suggests the boundary on the eastern side is along Great Suffolk Street and Holland Street to the river. And finally, after completing the walk, I found a map of 1737 showing the Parish of Christ Church, Southwark, and feel that this confirms Patrick Sweeney.

The Manors of Southwark (www.patricksweeney.co.uk)
The Manors of Southwark (www.patricksweeney.co.uk)
Christ Church Parish, 1737 (www.bl.uk)
Christ Church Parish, 1737 (www.bl.uk)

This was my starting point: ‘..The Manor of Paris Garden … has been a well-defined area from the early mediaeval period. It was bounded on the north by the river and on the other three sides by a stream or open sewer which ran in a wide loop round the manor from the Old Barge House Stairs, south to what is now Surrey Row, and north again to the river near Falcon Dock. The stream may have been in part a natural feature, though it is unlikely that it was so for the whole of its length, but the earth wall which flanked it was certainly man-made. The only survival of it is the street named Broadwall, which now forms the western boundary of Christ Church parish…’. The Manor of Paris Gardens was c.100 acres and dates back to the 11C when it was owned by the Knights Templar. The Manor was pulled down in 1769 – authoritative article by Edith’s Streets.

London in 1720, showing Paris Gardens Manor (mapco)
London in Elizabeth I’s time, showing Paris Gardens Manor (mapco)
The quayside at Barge House Stairs (next to the OXO Tower)
The quayside at Old Barge House Stairs (next to the OXO Tower)
The remains of Old Barge House Stairs? (next to the OXO Tower)
The remains of Old Barge House Stairs? (next to the OXO Tower)

Barge House Street, the site where Royal Barges were kept, still has old warehouses, in poor repair, but the area is dominated by the OXO Tower. There is an interesting coat of arms over a doorway but I can’t find any information about what it is – can you help?

Broadwall leads to and from Barge House Stairs but I couldn’t see any obvious indication of ditches, rivers, embankments, or slopes in the ground.  I walked down Hatfields Road, past Hatfields Park which was a site for drying beaver skins for hats. Although quiet I did not find it a particularly characterful road and there was no hint of river, ditch, or embankment. At Boundary Row I finally found a suspicious slope and curve in the road.

Broadwall today, leading to Barge House Stairs
Broadwall today, leading to Barge House Stairs
Hatfields Park
Hatfields Park
Hatfields Road, Southwark
Hatfields Road, Southwark
The curve in Boundary Row
The curve in Boundary Row

I crossed over Blackfriars Bridge Road into Surrey Row where there is a lot of rebuilding and at the end of which the road curves again (ditch? river?) up Great Suffolk Street.

Surrey Row
Surrey Row
Surrey Row
Surrey Row

Great Suffolk Street was also known as Gravel Lane and Dirty Lane. According to Edith’s Streets (absolutely marvellous blog – do visit!) and the name recalls the Tudor mansion of Suffolk Park or Suffolk Place, which belonged originally to Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk. The mansion stood by the dyke alongside a tributary of the Neckinger River which was the boundary on the east of Paris Gardens Manor. Was the warehouse below that of The Empire Bacon Curing Company?

Warehouse in Great Suffolk (bacon-curer's warehouse?)
Warehouse in Great Suffolk (bacon-curer’s warehouse?)
Great Suffolk Street
Great Suffolk Street, looking down towards the curve into Surrey Row under the furthest railway arch

At this point I made a mistake: I should have continued along Great Suffolk Street and then up Holland Street. Instead I followed Bear Lane, a narrow, curving road (river? ditch?) and refers to the bear-baiting or bull fighting popular in Southwark in earlier times – stomach-turning article here.

Bear Lane
Bear Lane

Hopton Street includes the almshouses of a previous post, and this small house which I believe dates to c.1702 (Pevsner). Close to the river the street curves back on itself, with Holland Street coming in from the right. At this point the Pudding Mill stream created a pond, which remained in place into the 19C. The building currently on the site follows the northern curve of the millpond.

Hopton Street & Holland Street (Google maps)

And so to the Thames. The Founders Arms is on the boundary between the Liberty of The Clink and the Manor. Falcon Dock was just to the west of the pub, next to Paris Gardens Stairs, and in this area the stream around the Manor flowed into the Thames. A quiet walk alongside the river returns me to the starting point.

2015-1-13 Paris Gardens Manor LR-88

Bankside, looking towards the City
Bankside, looking towards the City

You may be interested in
The Royal Barge designed by William Kent
Royal Barges & The Gloriana
Suffolk in London
Edith’s Streets
Paris Garden Manor & Liberty and here

2 comments

  1. Nice summary, I live in the boundary and enjoy researching Paris Garden. The 1737 map is actually 1821 I believe – if BL put 1737 they are definitely wrong! Nelson Square (south-east) was one of the last areas to be laid out and this was not until the 1810s.

    In terms of hints of ditches etc, I’ve never found any. I suspect any such thing was obliterated as the ground level was significantly raised to be above the high-tide mark of the Thames. You can see a hint of this change of ground level on Colombo Street: compare the floor height of the Rose & Crown to that of the gym on the other side of the road. The gym building was erected in the 1950s (originally a cafeteria for workers in the now-demolished Sainsbury’s factory to the rear of the pub) on the site of ancient houses, condemned and pulled down in the 1930s/40s, so I guess that side of the road did not have its level raised anywhere near as much as the surrounding area.

    Like

    • Thank you very much for your very helpful comments. London is endlessly interesting, is it not? One could spend a lifetime exploring, researching and understanding, and I appreciate your time reading the post, and adding to it.

      Like

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