Undergraduate student contribution

Cow Lane

Cow Lane, located in the Ward of Farringdon Without, began at Holborn Street, and then curved north and east to West Smithfield. Smithfield was a meat market, so the street likely got its name because cows were led through it to market (Bebbington 100). A nearby bridge over the Fleet Ditch was called Cow Bridge, likely for the same reason, and led into Chick or Chicken Lane (Stow 1:26). Just as Ironmonger Lane and Milk Street in Cheapside Market were named for the goods located there, these streets leading into Smithfield meat market were named for the animals that could be bought there.
Smithfield served many purposes in various times. It was the location of two churches, St. Bartholomew the Less, and St. Bartholomew the Great. Public executions were at times held there, and each year it was the site of Bartholomew Fair, which lasted three days (Stow 2:27). As its title suggests, Ben Jonson’s city comedy Bartholomew Fair was set there.
In modern times, Cow Lane no longer exists (Bebbington 100). The old Cow Bridge across the Fleet River (where Farringdon Station is now) is recalled in the name of the modern Cowcross Street (the site of Chick Lane on the Agas Map).
See also: Chalfant 60.


Cite this page

MLA citation

Campbell, James. Cow Lane. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 6.6, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 30 Jun. 2021, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/COWL1.htm.

Chicago citation

Campbell, James. Cow Lane. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 6.6. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 30, 2021. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/COWL1.htm.

APA citation

Campbell, J. 2021. Cow Lane. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 6.6). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/6.6/COWL1.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Campbell, James
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Cow Lane
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 6.6
PY  - 2021
DA  - 2021/06/30
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/COWL1.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/xml/standalone/COWL1.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#CAMP1"><surname>Campbell</surname>, <forename>James</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">Cow Lane</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>6.6</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2021-06-30">30 Jun. 2021</date>, <ref target="https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/COWL1.htm">mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/6.6/COWL1.htm</ref>.</bibl>