The ancient boundaries of the City Wards were reviewed in 1994 and 2013, so that the Wards no longer correspond very closely to their historic extents. Bishopsgate Without
gained a significant part of Shoreditch
from the London Borough of Hackney
, while nearly all of Bishopsgate Within
was transferred to other Wards.
Bishopsgate is also the name of part of the originally Roman Ermine Street
(now the A10
) within the traditional extent of the Ward.
In 1471, during the Wars of the Roses
, the Yorkist Bastard Fauconberg
attacked London, trying to force his way across London Bridge and also attacking the eastern gates with a further five thousand men and artillery.
Bishopsgate was set on fire
and the attackers came close to capturing nearby Aldgate
and with it the City. The attackers were repulsed from both gates with heavy losses, before being chased back to Bow Bridge
The Bishop's Gate was rebuilt by the Hansa merchants
in 1471 in exchange for steelyard
privileges. Its final form was erected in 1735 by the City authorities, but demolished in 1760. This gate often displayed the heads of criminals on spikes. London Wall (which is no longer extant in this sector) divided the ward and road into an intramural portion called Bishopsgate Within and an extramural portion called Bishopsgate Without.
The site of this former gate is marked by a stone bishop's mitre
, fixed high upon a building located near Bishopsgate's junction with Wormwood Street
, by the gardens there and facing the Heron Tower
The Ward is divided into two parts by the line of the former London Wall
and gate which lay just north of Wormwood
Streets. The Ward is still
divided into "Within" and "Without" parts, with a deputy (alderman
) appointed for each part.
The City of London's ancient wards, before the boundary changes of 1994 and 2013
corresponds to the parish of St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
. The church is located immediately north of the site of the original Gate on the west side of the road. The church was one of four in medieval London dedicated to Saint Botolph or Botwulf
, a 7th-century East Anglian
saint; three of these were outside city gates, with a fourth near London Bridge and the riverside wharves. The locations result from Botolph being regarded as the patron saint
of boundaries, and by extension of trade and travel.
St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate lay immediately north of the original Bishopsgate, and of the defensive ditch around London's Wall
The original Bedlam Hospital. The Deepditch to the west, is the main branch of the River Walbrook
The former River Walbrook
, known at this point as Deepditch
, ran along the line of modern Blomfield Street, forming the western boundary of Bishopsgate Without, with the Moorfields
(in Coleman Street Ward
) beyond it.
The Blomfield Street section of the river was the focal point of the Walbrook Skulls
; the result of the deposit of large quantities of decapitated Roman-era human skulls into the water.
These are still often uncovered during building work.
Notable buildings include:
Bishopsgate Without served by a single coterminous parish, with Bishopsgate Within formerly served by five
Notable buildings include:
Ward boundary changes
The 1994 (City), 2003 and 2013 (ward) boundary revisions made fundamental changes to the ancient boundaries of the Ward. The 1994 changes saw Bishopsgate Without
(and with it the City of London) gain a large area from the Shoreditch
area of the London Borough of Hackney
The changes made in 2003 and 2013[Need clarity on these reviews]
shifted land between Wards of the City. The effect of this was to transfer nearly all of Bishopsgate Within
(except for a small area surrounding the Leathersellers
' livery hall) to other wards.
The ward previously extended much further south, along the Bishopsgate road and Gracechurch Street. At this time Bishopsgate Without
lost a small block of buildings east Blomfield Street to the Broad Street ward.
There were no changes to Bishopsgate's ward boundaries in the 2013 boundary changes.
The street called Bishopsgate (formerly Bishopsgate Street
), which takes its name from the Gate, is the main thoroughfare of the Ward. It is a stretch of the originally Roman Ermine Street
(now the A10
) between Gracechurch Street
and Norton Folgate
taking the name Bishopsgate only within the historical area the Ward.
Although it takes its name from the gate, the road pre-dates the building of the London Wall
which was built in the late second or early third centuries. Ermine Street (sometimes called the Old North Road) connected London to Cambridge
and other towns and cities.
In the Roman period it was illegal to bury the dead within the City, so cemeteries were established outside the City gates. There were large burial grounds outside Bishopsgate, on both side of Ermine Street
The Wards of London appear to have taken shape in the 11th century, before the Norman Conquest. Their administrative, judicial and military purpose made them equivalent to Hundreds
in the countryside. The primary purpose of Wards like Bishopsgate, which included a gate, appears to be the defence of the gate,
as gates were the weakest points in any fortification.
The earliest origins of the Wards reach back further than the 11th century but their emergence and evolution is uncertain and any narrative conjectural.
The Ward may have developed from the Soke of Bishopsgate
, a set of rights, and possibly land, held by the Bishop of London over an area to the east of the River Walbrook
. The Bishop may have been granted the land and rights in order to promote growth in the under-developed part of the city east of the Walbrook
. Outside the Wall the Walbrook formed the boundary between the Soke of Bishopsgate
to the east and the Soke of Cripplegate
on the other side of the brook.
Bishopsgate may have originally included the area that subsequently became known as Lime Street Ward
The Domesday Survey of 1086 didn’t cover London, but a landholding called Bishopsgate is recorded nearby, this may have been the property later known as Norton Folgate
Bishopsgate-Street Ward in 1720.
Bishopsgate had many coaching inns
which accommodated passengers setting out on the Old North Road. Although they survived the Great Fire of London
, they have now all been demolished. These included the Angel, the Black Bull, the Dolphin, the Flower Pot, the Green Dragon, the Magpie and Punchbowl, the White Hart and the Wrestlers. The Black Bull was a venue for the Queen's Men
theatrical troupe in the 16th century. Anthony Bacon
moved nearby with mother in May 1594 and she complained about the plays and interludes at the Bull which might "corrupt his servants".
Looking north from a pedestrian bridge across Bishopsgate in 2004.
The Communist Manifesto
was first printed, anonymously and in German, by the Workers Educational Association
at 46 Liverpool Street in Bishopsgate Without
On 24 April 1993 it was the site of an IRA truck bombing
which killed journalist Ed Henty, injured over 40 people and caused £1 billion worth of damage,
including the destruction of St Ethelburga's church and damage to the NatWest Tower
and Liverpool Street station
. Police had received a coded warning, but were still evacuating the area at the time of the explosion. The area had already suffered damage from the Baltic Exchange bombing one year before.
- ^ "City of London ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- ^ Beyond the Tower: a history of East London. by John Marriot. In it refers back to 18th century descriptions of Bishopsgate Without and Shoreditch as EE districts
- ^ Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert (1983) The London Encyclopedia
- ^ On the Diocese of London originally serving the East Saxons https://www.ldbs.co.uk/diocese-of-london/#:~:text=The%20new%20Diocese%20of%20London%20served%20the%20East,the%20Thames%2C%20serving%20a%20population%20of%203.6%20million.
- ^ Kentish Rising section http://www.richardiii.net/9_1_1_wotr_resistance.php
- ^ "Local statistics - Office for National Statistics". www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk.
- ^ Wardmote minutes 2010 Archived 9 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine – see page 9
- ^ Churches in the Landscape, p217-221, Richard Morris, ISBN 0-460-04509-1
- ^ BHO source on the Moorfields area https://www.british-history.ac.uk/survey-london/vol8/pp88-90
- ^ London's Hadrianic War? Dominic Perring
- ^ The legislation transferring additional areas to the City of London http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1993/1445/made
- ^ a b City of London Corporation Archived 12 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Ward boundary review 2010 (final recommendations) – see page 15
- ^ The City of London-a history Borer, M.I.C. : New York, D.McKay Co, 1978 ISBN 0-09-461880-1.
- ^ Descriptions of cemetery site in adjacent Spitalfields gives extensive background http://www.lamas.org.uk/images/documents/Transactions65/001-050%20Crispin%20Street%20Spitalfields.pdf
- ^ London 800-1216: The Shaping of a City, Brook and Keir Ch 7
- ^ London 800-1216: The Shaping of a City, Brook and Keir. On p156-7 refers to William Pages discussion of the emergence of Wards but asserts the statements while valuable are unavoidably conjectural
- ^ Statements and conjecture passim from London, its origin and early development, William Page, 1923
- ^ London, its origin and early development, William Page, 1923, p176
- ^ http://www.spitalfieldsforum.org.uk/history section called A HISTORY OF THE MANOR AND LIBERTY OF NORTON FOLGATE
- ^ Wood 2003: 124-8
- ^ Thomas Birch, Memorials of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, vol. 1 (London, 1754), p. 173.
- ^ Weinreb and Hibbert 1983: 127)
- ^ Weinreb and Hibbert 1983: 586
- ^ Overview of the Manifesto https://dalspace.library.dal.ca/bitstream/handle/10222/62745/dalrev_vol43_iss4_pp457_468.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
- ^ De Baróid, Ciarán (2000). Ballymurphy And The Irish War. Pluto Press. p. 325. ISBN 0-7453-1509-7.
Last edited on 3 June 2021, at 08:09
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