The Borough Market is featured in maps of the city dating back to 1542 and is the city’s oldest fruit and vegetable market. Documents from 1671 confirm its trading boundary and it was moved to the present location in 1754.
As a wholesale and retail market it has a reputation for selling the finest quality fruit & veg but is becoming more of a tourist attraction selling mainly food cooked in the market.
Cross Bones Graveyard is only a stones throw from the Borough Market in Redcross Way. The gates to an anonymous plot of land have evolved into a post Princess Diana type shrine. A plaque explains why. “In medieval times this was an unconsecrated graveyard for prostitutes or ‘Winchester Geese’. By the 18th century it had become a pauper’s burial ground, which closed in 1853. Here local people have created a memorial shrine. The outcast dead. R.I.P.”
Cross Bones is a long forgotten burial ground for “single women,” a euphemism for prostitutes, as the church would not allow them to be buried on hallowed ground. It's ironic as for 500 years the Bishop of Winchester collected rent from all the local brothels. Hence the term Winchester Geese.
The shrine, created by the local community, includes a bottle of holy water and a bottle of gin which I'm sure would have been appreciated by the ladies who now rest in peace in Cross Bones Graveyard.
Everyone knows what St Paul’s looks like so thought I would use this picture taken from in between the 17th century Corinthian columns of the entrance to the cathedral.
Groveland Court is home to The Williamson’s Tavern, which claims to hold the oldest excise license in the City of London. Built not long after the Great Fire it dates back to the 17th century and typifies the narrow lanes and hidden secrets that make the city so interesting.
Ye Old Cheshire Cheese is in Wine Office Court, which gets its name from the sale of wine licences. The pub is one of the oldest in London and must be the only one still to have saw dust generously sprinkled on the floor. Built after the Great Fire in 1666 its oak beams and low ceilings have changed little since the 17th century. It’s the former home of a foul mouthed parrot that died in 1926 at the age of 40. The parrot’s passing was marked by obituaries in several newspapers due to the pub’s close association with Fleet Street.
The Temple is a strange place in a ‘Da Vinci Code’ sort of way. The land was acquired by the Knights Templar, a group of French warrior monks, in 1162 who had turned there attention to banking and property development. The area is now known as two of the four Inns of Court from where lawyers live and work. More details to follow.