Cheapside

Cheapside

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Cheapside is a street in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 that links Newgate
Newgate
Newgate at the west end of Newgate Street was one of the historic seven gates of London Wall round the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. From it a Roman road led west to Silchester...

 Street with the junction of Queen Victoria Street
Queen Victoria Street, London
Queen Victoria Street, named after the British monarch from 1837 to 1901 is a long street in the City of London which runs east by north from its junction with New Bridge Street in Castle Baynard Ward, along a section that divides those of Queenhithe and Bread Street , then lastly through the...

 and Mansion House Street. To the east is Mansion House
Mansion House, London
Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in London, England. It is used for some of the City of London's official functions, including an annual dinner, hosted by the Lord Mayor, at which the Chancellor of the Exchequer customarily gives a speech – his...

, the Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

, and the major road junction above Bank tube station. To the west is St. Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

, St. Paul's tube station
St. Paul's tube station
St. Paul's tube station is a London Underground station in the City of London on the Central Line, between Bank and Chancery Lane stations, and is in Travelcard Zone 1....

 and Paternoster Square
Paternoster Square
Paternoster Square is an urban development, owned by the Mitsubishi Estate Co., next to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London, England. In 1942 the area, which takes its name from Paternoster Row, centre of the London publishing trade, was devastated by aerial bombardment in The Blitz during...

.

In medieval
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 times it was known as Westcheap, as opposed to Eastcheap
Eastcheap
Eastcheap is a street in the City of London. Its name derives from cheap, market, with the prefix "East" distinguishing it from the other former City of London market of Westcheap . In medieval times Eastcheap was the City's main meat market, with butchers' stalls lining both sides of the street...

, another street in the City. The boundaries of the wards
Wards of the City of London
The City of London , in the United Kingdom, is constituted of 25 wards. The City is the historic core of the much wider metropolis of London, with an ancient and sui generis form of local government, which avoided the many reforms enacted to local government elsewhere in the country in the 19th and...

 of Cheap
Cheap (ward)
Cheap is a small ward of the City of London. It stretches west to east from King End Street, the border with Farringdon Within to Old Jewry, which adjoins Walbrook and north to south from Gresham Street, the border with Aldersgate and Bassishaw to Cheapside, the boundary with Cordwainer.The...

, Cordwainer
Cordwainer (ward)
Cordwainer is a small ward in the City of London, England. It is named after the Cordwainers, the professional shoemakers who historically lived and worked in this particular area of London; there is a City livery company for the trade — the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers...

 and Bread Street
Bread Street
Bread Street is a ward of the City of London and is named from its principal street, which was anciently the bread market; for by the records it appears that in 1302, the bakers of London were ordered to sell no bread at their houses but in the open market...

 run along Cheapside and Poultry, whilst prior to boundary changes in 2003 the street was divided amongst Farringdon Within
Farringdon Within
Farringdon Within is a ward in the City of London, England.The ward covers an area from Blackfriars, in the south, to Barbican station, in the north....

 and Cripplegate
Cripplegate
Cripplegate was a city gate in the London Wall and a name for the region of the City of London outside the gate. The area was almost entirely destroyed by bombing in World War II and today is the site of the Barbican Estate and Barbican Centre...

 as well as the current three.

Poultry is the name of the Cheapside street at its eastern end, starting at the cross-roads with Queen Street
Queen Street, London
Queen Street is a street in the City of London, which runs from Upper Thames Street north to Cheapside. The thoroughfares of Queen Street and King Street were newly laid out, cutting across more ancient thoroughfares in the City, following the Great Fire of London of 1666; they were the only...

 and King Street, and ending at the junction with Queen Victoria Street and Mansion House Street.

History


Cheapside is the former site of one of the principal produce markets
Farmers' market
A farmers' market consists of individual vendors—mostly farmers—who set up booths, tables or stands, outdoors or indoors, to sell produce, meat products, fruits and sometimes prepared foods and beverages...

 in London, cheap broadly meaning "market" in medieval English (see below Etymology and usage). Many of the streets feeding into the main thoroughfare are named after the produce that was originally sold in those areas of the market, including Honey Lane, Milk Street, Bread Street and Poultry.

In Medieval times, the royal processional route from the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 to the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 would include Cheapside. During state occasions such as the first entry of Margaret of France (second wife of Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

), into London in September 1299, the conduits of Cheapside customarily flowed with wine.

During the reign of Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 in the 14th century, tournaments were held in adjacent fields. The dangers were however not limited to the participants: a wooden stand built to accommodate Queen Philippa
Philippa of Hainault
Philippa of Hainault, or, Philippe de Hainaut was the Queen consort of King Edward III of England. Edward, Duke of Guyenne, her future husband, promised in 1326 to marry her within the following two years...

 and her companions collapsed during a tournament to celebrate the birth of the Black Prince
Edward, the Black Prince
Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Prince of Aquitaine, KG was the eldest son of King Edward III of England and his wife Philippa of Hainault as well as father to King Richard II of England....

 in 1330. No one died but the King was greatly displeased and were it not for the Queen's intercession, the stand's builders would have been put to death.

On the day preceding her coronation during January 1559, Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 passed through a number of London streets in a pre-coronation procession and was entertained by a number of pageants, including one in Cheapside.

Meat was brought in to Cheapside from Smithfield
Smithfield, London
Smithfield is an area of the City of London, in the ward of Farringdon Without. It is located in the north-west part of the City, and is mostly known for its centuries-old meat market, today the last surviving historical wholesale market in Central London...

, just outside Newgate
Newgate
Newgate at the west end of Newgate Street was one of the historic seven gates of London Wall round the City of London and one of the six which date back to Roman times. From it a Roman road led west to Silchester...

. After the great Church of St. Michael-le-Querne
St Michael-le-Querne
-History:Its dedication derives from an 12th century reference to it being near a place “where corn is sold". Rebuilt in 1430, and beautified in 1617, the parish officers were re-appointed for the last time in July 1666.-Destruction:...

, the top end of the street broadened into a dual carriageway
Dual carriageway
A dual carriageway is a class of highway with two carriageways for traffic travelling in opposite directions separated by a central reservation...

 known as the Shambles (referring to an open-air slaughterhouse
Slaughterhouse
A slaughterhouse or abattoir is a facility where animals are killed for consumption as food products.Approximately 45-50% of the animal can be turned into edible products...

 and meat market), with butcher shops on both sides and a dividing central area also containing butchers. Further down, on the right, was Goldsmiths Row, an area of commodity
Commodity
In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs. Economic commodities comprise goods and services....

 dealers
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

. From the 14th century until the Great Fire
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

, the eastern end of Cheapside was the location of the Great Conduit
Great Conduit
The Great Conduit was a man-made underground channel in London, England, which brought drinking water from the Tyburn to Cheapside in the City....

.

Literary connections


Cheapside was the birthplace of John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, and Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick (poet)
Robert Herrick was a 17th-century English poet.-Early life:Born in Cheapside, London, he was the seventh child and fourth son of Julia Stone and Nicholas Herrick, a prosperous goldsmith....

. It was for a long time one of the most important streets in London. It is also the site of the 'Bow Bells', the church of St. Mary-le-Bow
St Mary-le-Bow
St Mary-le-Bow is an historic church in the City of London, off Cheapside. According to tradition, a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of the church's bells.-Bells:...

, which has played a part in London's Cockney
Cockney
The term Cockney has both geographical and linguistic associations. Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End...

 heritage and the tale of Dick Whittington. Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

 grew up around Cheapside and there are a scattering of references to the thoroughfare and its environs throughout his work. The first chapter of Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot and Sir Thomas More he won the Somerset Maugham Award...

's Brief Lives series on Chaucer also colourfully describes the street at that time. Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in...

's play A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
A Chaste Maid in Cheapside is a city comedy written c. 1613 by English Renaissance playwright Thomas Middleton. Unpublished until 1630 and long-neglected afterwards, it is now considered among the best and most characteristic Jacobean comedies....

(1613) both satirises and celebrates the citizens of the neighbourhood during the Renaissance, when the street hosted the city's goldsmiths.

William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

, in his 1797 poem The Reverie of Poor Susan, imagines a naturalistic Cheapside of past:
Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Jane Austen was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.Austen lived...

, in her 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England...

, characterises Cheapside as a London neighbourhood frowned upon by the landed elite:
Charles Dickens, Jr. wrote in his 1879 book Dickens's Dictionary of London:
"Cheapside remains now what it was five centuries ago, the greatest thoroughfare in the City of London. Other localities have had their day, have risen, become fashionable, and have sunk into obscurity and neglect, but Cheapside has maintained its place, and may boast of being the busiest thoroughfare in the world, with the sole exception perhaps of London-bridge
London Bridge
London Bridge is a bridge over the River Thames, connecting the City of London and Southwark, in central London. Situated between Cannon Street Railway Bridge and Tower Bridge, it forms the western end of the Pool of London...

.
"


Hugh Lofting
Hugh Lofting
Hugh John Lofting was a British author, trained as a civil engineer, who created the character of Doctor Dolittle — one of the classics of children's literature.-Personal life:...

's book Doctor Dolittle
Doctor Dolittle
Doctor John Dolittle is the central character of a series of children's books by Hugh Lofting starting with the 1920 The Story of Doctor Dolittle. He is a doctor who shuns human patients in favour of animals, with whom he can speak in their own languages...

, published in 1951, names a quarrelsome London sparrow with a Cockney accent Cheapside. He lives most of the year in St. Edmund's left ear in St. Paul's Cathedral and is invited to the African country of Fantippo to deliver mail to cities because the other birds are not able to navigate city streets.

Cheapside is also depicted in Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff CBE was a British novelist, and writer for children, best known as a writer of historical fiction and children's literature. Although she was primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults; Sutcliff herself once commented that she wrote...

's 1951 children's historical novel The Armourer's House
The Armourer's House
The Armourer's House is a children's historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliff and first published in 1951.It is set primarily in London during the reign of King Henry VIII...

, along with other parts of Tudor London
Tudor London
Henry Tudor, who seized the English throne as Henry VII in 1485, and married Elizabeth of York, thus putting an end to the Wars of the Roses, was a resolute and efficient monarch that centralised political power on the crown...

.

In a more contemporary treatment, the Cheapside of the Middle Ages was referenced in a derogatory sense in the 2001 movie A Knight's Tale
A Knight's Tale (film)
A Knight's Tale is a 2001 American action-adventure film directed, produced, and written by Brian Helgeland. The film stars Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer, and James Purefoy as Sir Thomas Colville/Edward, the Black Prince.The...

as being the poor, unhealthy and low-class birthplace and home of the unlikely hero.

Also, Mary "Jacky" Faber lived there in Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer.

Contemporary Cheapside



Cheapside today is a street of offices and developments of retail outlets. It can no longer be described as "the busiest thoroughfare in the world" (as in Charles Dickens, Jr's day) and is instead simply one of many routes connecting the East End
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

 and the City of London with the West End
West End of London
The West End of London is an area of central London, containing many of the city's major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings, and entertainment . Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross...

.

Cheapside was extensively damaged during The Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 in late 1940 and particularly during the Second Great Fire of London. Much of the rebuilding following these raids occurred during the 1950s and 1960s and included a number of unsympathetic contemporary attempts at recreating the centuries-old architecture that had been destroyed. In recent years many of these buildings have themselves been demolished as a programme of regeneration takes place along Cheapside from Paternoster Square to Poultry.

The draft Core Strategy of the City's Local Development Frameworks
Local Development Frameworks
A local development framework is the spatial planning strategy introduced in England and Wales by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and given detail in Planning Policy Statements 12...

 outlines the vision and policies for the Cheapside area, aiming to increase the amount of retail space along and near the street, and make the area a good environment for visitors and shoppers. The plan is to re-establish the street as the City's "High Street", including as a weekend shopping destination (until recently many retail units in the City were closed on Saturday and Sunday). A major retail and office development at the heart of the scheme, One New Change
One New Change
One New Change is a major office and retail development in the City of London , London, United Kingdom. It comprises a total of 560,000 sq feet of floor space, including of retail space and of office space and is currently the only large, modern shopping centre in the City...

, opened 28 October 2010. It is sited on Cheapside at the intersection with New Change, immediately to the east of St. Paul's Cathedral.

To address the anticipated rise in the number of shoppers as a result of the regeneration, the street itself has undergone reconstruction works to make the area more sympathetic to pedestrian traffic; the works are expected to make Cheapside the main shopping area in the City of London.

The marathon
Marathon
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres , that is usually run as a road race...

 route of the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

 is planned to pass along Cheapside.

Etymology and usage


Cheapside is a common English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 street name, meaning "market-place", from Old English ceapan, 'to buy' (cf. German kaufen, Dutch kopen), whence also chapman
Chapmen
A chapman was an itinerant dealer or hawker in early modern Britain.-Etymology:Old English céapmann was the regular term for "dealer, seller", cognate to the synonymous Dutch koopman....

and chapbook
Chapbook
A chapbook is a pocket-sized booklet. The term chap-book was formalized by bibliophiles of the 19th century, as a variety of ephemera , popular or folk literature. It includes many kinds of printed material such as pamphlets, political and religious tracts, nursery rhymes, poetry, folk tales,...

. There was originally no connection to the modern meaning of cheap ('low price', a shortening of good ceap, 'good buy'), though by the 18th century this association may have begun to be inferred.

Other cities and towns in England that have a Cheapside street include Barnsley
Barnsley
Barnsley is a town in South Yorkshire, England. It lies on the River Dearne, north of the city of Sheffield, south of Leeds and west of Doncaster. Barnsley is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the largest and...

, Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, Bradford
Bradford
Bradford lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, in Northern England. It is situated in the foothills of the Pennines, west of Leeds, and northwest of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897...

, Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, Bristol
Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, Derby, Halifax
Halifax, West Yorkshire
Halifax is a minster town, within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. It has an urban area population of 82,056 in the 2001 Census. It is well-known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Halifax Piece...

, Lancaster, Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

, Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, Luton
Luton
Luton is a large town and unitary authority of Bedfordshire, England, 30 miles north of London. Luton and its near neighbours, Dunstable and Houghton Regis, form the Luton/Dunstable Urban Area with a population of about 250,000....

, Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, Nottingham
Nottingham
Nottingham is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England. It is located in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire and represents one of eight members of the English Core Cities Group...

, Reading
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

, and Ascot
Ascot, Berkshire
Ascot is a village within the civil parish of Sunninghill and Ascot, in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. It is most notable as the location of Ascot Racecourse, home of the prestigious Royal Ascot meeting...

. There is also a Cheapside in Bridgetown
Bridgetown
The city of Bridgetown , metropolitan pop 96,578 , is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. Formerly, the Town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael...

, Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

; Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

; Greenfield, Massachusetts
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Greenfield is a city in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 17,456 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Franklin County. Greenfield is home to Greenfield Community College, the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Franklin County Fair...

; and London, Canada
London, Ontario
London is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, situated along the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. The city has a population of 352,395, and the metropolitan area has a population of 457,720, according to the 2006 Canadian census; the metro population in 2009 was estimated at 489,274. The city...

.

External links