Spitalfields was a large area of open fields east of Bishopsgate Street and a good distance north of Aldgate and Houndsditch. Spitalfields, also recorded as
Lollesworth,is unmistakable on the Agas map. The large expanse of fields is clearly marked
The Spitel Fyeld.The field is shown full of livestock and people walking and shooting. As the city relentlessly expanded its building programs to accommodate the growing population, Spitalfields became yet another maze of streets and houses, mainly inhabited by silk weavers (Harben).
Stow describes at length the various archaeological finds unearthed at Spitalfields within his lifetime. Among notable finds were coins and glasses; pots, plates, and cups made from red clay; and Roman burial urns full of human ashes from the reigns of Claudius, Vespasian, Nero, Antonius Pius, and Trajan. Stow proudly tells his reader that
I my selfe haue reserued a mongst diuerse of those antiquities there, one Vrna, with the Ashes and bones, and one pot of white earth very small, not exceeding the quantitie of a quarter of a wine pint, made in shape of a Hare, squatted vpon her legs, and betweene her eares is the mouth of the pot(Stow).
The site is now occupied by Spitalfields Market. The Museum of London Archaeology (MoLA) has conducted extensive excavations in this area of London.
For further information on Spitalfields, see Thomas.
- Harben, Henry. A Dictionary of London. London: Henry Jenkins, 1918. British History Online. Reprint. Open.
- London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre (LAARC). Open.
- Stow, John. A Survey of London. Reprinted from the Text of 1603. Ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Reprint. British History Online. Subscription. [Kingsford edition, courtesy of The Centre for Metropolitan History. Articles written 2011 or later cite from this searchable transcription. In the in-text parenthetical reference (Stow; BHO), click on BHO to go directly to the page containing the quotation or source.]
- Thomas, Chris. Life and Death in London’s East End. London: MoLA, 2004.
Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)