Monday, September 14, 2015

Sebastian St. Cyr's London: St Andrew's Undershaft and the Cloth Fair, Smithfield

I plan to answer more questions later in the week, but I thought it would be nice to take a little break.

This is St. Andrew's Undershaft in Aldgate, not too far from St. Helen's Bishopsgate and Jamie Knox's tavern.  The current church dates tom the early 16th century, although the original structure was much older. It's an unusual church both because of the way it's positioned and because the entrance is at the base of its off-center tower. The odd name comes from the large maypole that used to be set up near it.  Here it is today (the massive modern building rising behind it is The Gherkin:

Next up is the Cloth Fair, a short but very old street in Smithfield. This is a photograph rather than a print, so it's from later in the 19th century, but it really hadn't changed much. This is where, in the Middle Ages, merchants would gather to sell cloth during the St. Bartholomew Fair.

The first photograph below is taken at a slightly different angle, but shows the same building. The second is actually taken from Rising Sun Court looking toward the Cloth Fair. The unusual church is St. Bartholomew, which warrants its own post some day soon.


Ali said...

Candy I cant believe how great St. Andrew's looks. Its a miracle that it still exists. I admit the motorbikes in front look a bit odd. If I ever get back to London, I will have to go there. Actually I would like to see all the places that Sebastian and Hero would have frequented. Thanks again for sharing these great pictures. Ali

JustWingingIt said...

Not sure about that enormous glass egg rising in the background, lol. The church looks great though. A Sebastian/Hero walking tour would be great if I ever make it to London.


Charles Gramlich said...

The contrast between the old and the new is staggering in that pic.

Lynne said...

Gherkin? Not what I've heard it called, but I'm supposed to be ladylike. I love these old prints and modern pics for contrast. As a die-hard London lover, I find it all fascinating. By the way, do you care if I copy a couple of these to my photo album on the computer? I have a file filled with pictures of Great Britain that I've collected for nostalgia purposes. They have to carry me along until I can get back there. And I'm with Ali - it is so fun to see places that our characters have been. Keep them coming, please!

cs harris said...

Ali, it's amazing it's still there, all hemmed in by those new buildings.

Veronica, that glass egg is sitting right on Jamie's tavern!

Charles, it really is amazing.

Lynne, I'm being PG13 here! And yes, feel free to copy them.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Wow, these are great. Thank you. The layers of history are amazing and - man! - I look forward to the day when, like Ali and Lynne, I can walk around following in Sebastian and Hero's footsteps. ( I blanked out on any questions for AMAM, but I do think the idea is fantastic.)

Susan J. said...

Thank you for posting these interesting pictures and photographs. It made me feel nostalgic for London, for when I worked there in the '70's and often wondered about on my afternoons off. I used to go to the National Gallery often and I also loved going to places people don't often mention, like Dr Johnson's house. I loved browsing the second hand bookshops. I was looking at my leather bound 1864 copy of Shelley's works the other day (I think I got it in a shop on the Kings Road, Chelsea) and saw that I paid £1.25 for it! I would be lucky to get it for that these days.

Lynne said...

Thanks, Candy!

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