‚Plate 69: Adelphi Arches‘, Survey of London: volume 18: St Martin-in-the-Fields II: The Strand (1937), pp. 69. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=68357 Date accessed: 09 February 2012.

Many novelists, philanthropists, and newspaper writers have dwelt much upon the horrible character of a series of subterranean chambers or vaults in the vicinity of the Strand, called the Adelphi Arches. It is by no means even now understood that these arches are the most innocent and harmless places in London, whatever they might once have been. A policeman is on duty there at night, expressly to prevent persons who have no right or business there from descending into their recesses.

They were probably erected in order to form a foundation for the Adelphi Terrace. Let us suppose there were then no wharves, and no embankments, consequently the tide must have ascended and gone inland some distance, rendering the ground marshy, swampy, and next to useless. The main arch is a very fine pile of masonry, something like the Box tunnel on a small scale, while the other, running here and there like the intricacies of catacombs, looks extremely ghostly and suggestive of Jack Sheppards, Blueskins, Jonathan Wilds, and others of the same kind, notwithstanding they are so well lighted with gas. There is a doorway at the end of a vault leading up towards the Strand, that has a peculiar tradition attached to it. Not so very many years ago this door was a back exit from a notorious coffee and gambling house, where parties were decoyed by thieves, blacklegs, or prostitutes, and swindled, then drugged, and subsequently thrown from this door into the darkness of what must have seemed to them another world, and were left, when they came to themselves, to find their way out as best they could.

Text: London Labour and the London Poor

From a viewing platform, one can see the gravelled surface of the Roman road that ran from the bridgehead across the Cathedral site to meet the riverbank opposite the House of Parliament, and the Saxon foundations of the early church.

Archaelogical Chamber

To the east of the medieval remains are the brick arches of a 17th century pottery kiln. It was in 1614 that an application was made to make pottery ‚after the manner of Fiansa‘ (Florence). Part of the old ‚fratree‘ of the monastery was used as a pot house and colour house. The kilns were uncomfortably close to the church and a small fire in the 18th century ensured that the pottery was finally closed.

 

Southwark Cathedral timeline.pdf


‚Plate 34: St. Pancras Wells. The long room‘, Survey of London: volume 19: The parish of St Pancras part 2: Old St Pancras and Kentish Town (1938), pp. 34. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=64913 Date accessed: 09 February 2012

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