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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.