Mercery Lane, Canterbury, England


Canterbury. Mercery Lane.
c.1915
Publisher: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury

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To return again to the High street on the northern side of which opposite to St Margaret s street is a narrow lane called Mercery lane anciently Le Mercerie no doubt from that trade having been principally carried forward in it Before the time of the great rebellion there was a colonade on each side of it like that formerly on London Bridge The houses in it are the most ancient of any in the city each story projecting upwards so as almost to meet at the top There has however been a considerable improvement in this lane like the rest of the city many houses have been new fronted The south west corner of it is the site of one of those ancient inns which Chaucer mentions as being frequented by the pilgrims in his time and the inner part of the adjoining premises where every information can be obtained for the stranger and traveller gives some idea still of the manner in which these sort of receptacles for travellers were built This lane leads to the entrance into the precincts of the Cathedral the principal gate of which is opposite to it
“Canterbury Guide”, Henry Ward, 1843, p 24

One of the most famous of all hostelries used to be the “Chequers of the Hope” at the angle of Mercery Lane with the main street, the exact corner where the crowd of pilgrims that had entered by the West Gate turned aside to gain Prior Goldstone’s entrance to the cathedral precincts. But, alas! though the name remains, the building was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1865. . . . Mercery Lane the name (like that of Butchery Lane, the next narrow turning to the cathedral) reminding us of the days when all of one trade congregated together has a peculiar charm from its very narrowness and lack of straight lines, as well as from the projecting character of most of the houses, several of which are certainly of fourteenth-century building, though altered much in Tudor, Elizabethan, or Stuart times.
“Canterbury, a historical and topographical account of the city”, J. Charles Cox, 1905, pp 280-1

Canterbury Historical & Archaeological Society: Cheker (or Chequer) of Hope

Valletta, Malta


VALLETTA MALTA – Strada Marina
Dated on back: 15 February 1916

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Many would find it hard to imagine Strada Marina more commonly known as ‘It-Telgħa ta’ Liesse’ as the commercial hub in the capital, as it had been dilapidated for decades. However, very soon, the street will be restored to its former glory as the Planning Authority has approved permits for restoration works.
NewsBook

Milsom Street, Bath, England


Milsom Street, Bath

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Milsom Street in Bath, Somerset, England was built in 1762 by Thomas Lightholder. The buildings were originally grand town houses, but most are now used as shops, offices and banks. Most have three storeys with mansard roofs and Corinthian columns.
Wikipedia.

Milsom Street was the fashionable shopping street in Bath: “Do you know I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine in a shop window in Milsom Street just now,” enthuses a friend of Catherine Morland, Jane Austen’s heroine in ‘Northanger Abbey’. It was also a fortuitous street for chance meetings: “in walking up Milsom Street, she had the good fortune to meet with the Admiral. He was standing by himself at a printshop window, with his hands behind him, in earnest contemplation of some print…”
British Library Online Gallery

Vicars’ Close & Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England


Vicars’ Close, Wells
No date or publishers clues (About 1920, give or take a decade.)

The body of Vicars Choral has been in existence since the 1100s, singing the daily round of divine services in the Cathedral in place of the canons. Initially they lodged among the townsfolk rather than on Cathedral grounds, allowing them to succumb to worldly temptation. To rectify this unsatisfactory situation, in 1348 Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury founded a College of Vicars, of whom there were more than forty, and provided a communal hall and buildings for accommodation grouped around a quadrangle, in much the same manner as an Oxford or Cambridge college. Bishop Ralph also endowed the Vicars with a landed estate which provided them with a small income. In the early fifteenth century a chapel was built for the Vicars, and the quadrangle was converted into a street, now known as Vicars’ Close. Largely undisturbed, Vicars’ Close is the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe and still houses the organists and the men of the choir, as well as other employees of the Cathedral.
Wells Cathedral

The first houses on this attractive street, close to Wells Cathedral in Somerset, were constructed during the mid 14th century and the street was completed about a century later. The area was initially used to house a group of chantry priests. Although changes and improvements have been made over the years, the properties are still essentially the same as they were centuries ago. Almost all of the 27 houses on Vicars’ Close are protected as grade 1 listed buildings. The street derived from a significant land grant by the canon of Wells Cathedral, Walter de Hulle. The chantry priests were supported by the rents from tenants who lived on the land.

During the 12th century, the group of clergy who served the cathedral were responsible for chanting the divine service eight times a day and were known as the Vicars Choral. At the end of the street is the Vicars’ Hall which housed several communal and administrative offices relating to the Vicars Choral. In particular, was a room associated with the collection of rents used to support the clergy. This hall contains a gateway that links Vicars’ Close to St Andrew Street.

Atlas Obscura

The residences are built of stone from the Mercia Mudstone Group. There were originally 22 houses on the east side and 20 on the west. They line each side of a quadrangle which appears longer than it is because of false perspective achieved by building the houses at the upper northern end nearest the chapel 9 feet (2.7 m) closer together than those at the lower southern end closest to the Vicars’ Hall. Each house originally comprised a ground floor hall of approximately 20 by 13 feet (6.1 by 4.0 m) and an upper floor of the same size. Both had a fireplace in the front wall. Washing facilities and a latrine were outside the back door. The date of some of the buildings is unclear but it is known that some had been built by 1363 and the rest were completed by 1412.
Wikipedia.


Wells Cathedral  [View] from North West

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Stonegate, York, England


Stonegate, York
1900s
Publisher: Shurey’s Publications

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The road has always been central to the City’s layout. Six feet below its pavement lies the Roman Via Praetoria, which connected the Basilica at the centre of the fortress to the bridge over the River Ouse and the civilian settlement on the other side. The Roman road may have given the street its name, although Francis Drake records in 1736: “It had this name given as is said from the vast quantity of stone lead through this street for the building of the cathedral.” Limestone for the construction of the Minster was indeed brought in from Tadcaster by river. Drake also records that, at the bottom of the street, was a spot called ‘cuckolds’ corner’ although he doesn’t explain why.
History of York

Stonegate has always been one of the major streets of York. It runs south-west from the junction with High and Low Petergate or via principalis, towards the River Ouse and the old Roman bridge, along the line of the via praetoria of the Roman fortress. The via praetoria linked the main fortress gate – under St Helen’s Square – to the headquarters building – under the Minster.
York Civic Trust