Tower Street Ward


Tower Street Ward is east of Billingsgate Ward and west of the Tower of London.
1720: Blome’s Map of Tower Street Ward. Image courtesy of British Library Crace Collection. 
                        © British Library Board; Maps Crace Port. 8.37
1720: Blome’s Map of Tower Street Ward. Image courtesy of British Library Crace Collection. © British Library Board; Maps Crace Port. 8.37

Links to Chapters in the Survey of London

1603 Description of Ward Boundaries

The following diplomatic transcription of the opening paragraph(s) of the 1603 chapter on this ward will eventually be subsumed into the MoEML edition of the 1603 Survey.1 Each ward chapter opens with a narrative circumnavigation of the ward—a verbal beating of the bounds that MoEML first transcribed in 2004 and later used to facilitate the drawing of approximate ward boundaries on our edition of the Agas map. Source: John Stow, A Survey of London (London, 1603; STC #23343).
The firſt Warde in the Eaſt parte of this cittie within the wall, is called Towerſtreete Ward, and extendeth along the riuer of Thames from the ſaid Tower in the Eaſt, almoſt to Belinſgate in the Weſt: One halfe of the Tower, the ditch2 on the Weſt ſide, and bulwarkes adioyning do ſtand within that parte, where the wall of the cittie of old time went ſtraight from the Poſterne gate ſouth to the riuer of Thames, before that the Tower was builded. From and without the Tower ditch Weſt and by North, is the ſaide Tower hill, ſometime a large plot of ground, now greatly ſtreightned by incrochmentes, (vnlawfully made and ſuffered) for Gardens and Houſes, ſome on the Banke of the Tower ditch, whereby the Tower ditch is marred, but more neare vnto the Wall of the cittie from the Poſterne North till ouer againſt the principall foregate of the Lord Lumleyes houſe, &c. but the Tower Warde goeth no further that way.
Upon this Hill is alwayes readily prepared at the charges of the cittie a large Scaffolde and Gallowes of Timber, for the execution of ſuch Traytors or Tranſgreſſors, as are deliuered out of the Tower, or otherwiſe to the Shiriffes of London by writ there to be executed. I read that in the fift of king Edwarde the fourth a ſcaffold and gallowes was there ſet up by other the kinges Officers, and not of the Citties charges, whereupon the Mayor and his Brethren complayned, but were aunſwered by the king that the Tower hill, was of the libertie of the cittie: And whatſoeuer was done in that point, was not in derogation of the cities Liberties, and therefore commaunded Proclamation to bee made, aſwell within the Citie as in the Suburbes, as followeth: For as much as the ſeauenth day of this preſent Moneth of Nouember, Gallowes were erect and ſet vppe beſides our Tower of London, within the liberties and franchiſes of our cittie of London, in derogation and preiudice of the liberties and franchiſes of this cittie, The king our ſoueraigne Lord would it bee certainely underſtood that the erection and ſetting vp of the ſaid gallowes was not done by his commaundement, wherefore the King our soueraign Lord willeth that the erection and ſetting vp the ſaid Gallowes bee not any preſident or example thereby hereafter to be taken, in hurte, preiudice or derogation of the franchiſes, liberties, & priuiledges, of the ſaide cittie, which hee at all times hath had, & hath in his beneuolence, tender fauour and good grace, &c. Apud Weſtminſt. 9. die Nouemb. Anno regni noſtri quinto. On the North ſide of this hill, is the ſaide Lord Lumleyes houſe, and on the weſt ſide diuers houſes lately builded, and other incrochmentes along ſouth to Chicke lane, on the eaſt of Barking church, at the end whereof you haue Tower Street ſtretching from the Tower hill, weſt to St. Margaret Pattens church Parſonage.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
By the Weſt ende of this Parriſh church and chappell,3 lyeth Sydon lane, now corruptly called Sything lane, from Towerſtreete vp North to Hart ſtreete. In this Sidon lane diuers fayre and large houſes are builded, namely one by Sir Iohn Allen, ſometime Mayor of London, and of counſell vnto king Henry the eight: Sir Frances VValſingham Knight Principal Secretary to the Queenes Maieſtie that now is, was lodged there, and ſo was the Earle of Eſſex, &c. At the North Weſt corner of this lane, ſtandeth a proper parriſh Church of Saint Olaue, which Church together with ſome houſes adioyning, and alſo others ouer againſt it in Hart ſtreete, are of the ſaide Tower ſtreete Warde.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
Then haue yee out of Towerſtreete, alſo on the North ſide, one other lane, called Marte lane, which runneth vp towardes the North, and is for the moſt parte of this Towerſtreet warde, which lane is about the thirde quarter thereof deuided, from Aldgate ward, by a chaine to bee drawn, thwart the ſaide lane aboue the weſt ende of Harte ſtreete. Cokedon hall, ſometime at the South weſt end of Marte lane I reade of.
A third lane out of Towerſtreete on the North ſide is called Mincheon lane, ſo called of tenements there ſometime pertayning to the Minchuns or Nunnes of Saint Helens in Biſhopſgate ſtreete: this lane is all of the ſaide Warde, except the corner houſe towardes Fenchurch ſtreete.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
And therefore to begin againe at the Eaſt ende of Towerſtreete, on the South ſide, have ye Beare lane, wherein are many faire houſes, and runneth downe to Thames ſtreete. The next is Sporiar lane, of old time ſo called, but ſince, and of later time named Water lane, becauſe it runneth downe to the Water gate by the Cuſtome houſe in Thames ſtreete: then is there Hart lane for Harpe lane, which likewiſe runneth downe into Thames ſtreete. In this Hart lane is the Bakers Hall, ſometime the dwelling houſe of Iohn Chichley Chamberlain of London, who was ſonne to William Chichley, Alderman of London, brother to Willian Chichley, Archdeacon of Canterburie, nephew to Robert Chichley Maior of London, and to Henrie Chichley Archbiſhop of Canterburie.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
In Tower ſtreete, betweene Hart lane, and Church lane, was a quadrant called Galley row, becauſe Galley men dwelled there. Then haue ye two lanes out of Tower ſtréete, both called Churchlanes, becauſe one runneth downe by the Eaſt ende of Saint Dunſtans Church, and the other by the weſt ende of the ſame: out of the weſt lane, turneth another lane, weſt toward S. Marie Hill, and is called Fowle lane, which is for the moſt part of Tower ſtreete warde.
This Church of Saint Dunſtone in called in the Eaſt, for difference from one other of the ſame name in the weſt: it is a fayre and large Church of an auncient building, and within a large Churchyarde: it hath a great pariſh of many rich Marchants, and other occupiers of diuerſe trades, namely Saltars and Ironmongers.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
Now for the two Church lanes, they meeting on the Southſide of this Church and Churchyarde, doe ioyne in one: and running downe to the Thames ſtreete: the ſame is called Saint Dunſtans hill, at the lower ende whereof the ſayd Thames ſtreete towards the weſt on both ſides almoſt to Belins gate, but towardes the Eaſt vp to the water gate, by the Bulwarke of the tower, is all of tower ſtreete warde. In this ſtreete on the Thames ſide are diuers large landing places called wharffes, or keyes, for Cranage vp of wares and Marchandiſe, as alſo for ſhipping of wares from thence to be tranſported. Theſe wharffes and keyes commonly beare the names of their owners, and are therefore changeable.Gap in transcription. Reason: […]
Neare vnto this Cuſtomers key towardes the Eaſt, is the ſayd watergate, and weſt from it Porters key, then Galley key, where the Gallies were vſed to vnlade, and land their marchandizes and wares: and that part of Thames ſtreete, was therefore of ſome called Galley Row, but more commonly petty Wales.

Note on Ward boundaries on Agas Map

Ward boundaries drawn on the Agas map are approximate. The Agas map does not lend itself well to georeferencing or georectification, which means that we have not been able to import the raster-based or vector-based shapes that have been generously offered to us by other projects. We have therefore used our drawing tools to draw polygons on the map surface that follow the lines traced verbally in the opening paragraph(s) of each ward chapter in the Survey. Read more about the cartographic genres of the Agas map.


  1. The 1603 Survey is widely available in reprints of C.L. Kingsford’s two-volume 1908 edition (Kingsford) and also in the British History Online transcription of the Kingsford edition (BHO). MoEML is completing its editions of all four texts in the following order: 1598, 1633, 1618, and 1603. (JJ)
  2. I.e., Tower Ditch (JZ)
  3. I.e., All Hallows Barking (JZ)


Cite this page

MLA citation

Halepuram Sridhar, Amogha Lakshmi. Tower Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Halepuram Sridhar, Amogha Lakshmi. Tower Street Ward. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Halepuram Sridhar, A. L. 2022. Tower Street Ward. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

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  - Halepuram Sridhar, Amogha
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Tower Street Ward
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#ALHS1"><surname>Halepuram Sridhar</surname>, <forename>Amogha</forename> <forename>Lakshmi</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">Tower Street Ward</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>.</bibl>




Variant spellings