(St.) James' in the Wall Hermitage
   A chapel or hermitage adjoining the north-west corner of the Wall of London near Cripplegate in Farringdon Ward Within. (Site shown O.8. 1880.)
   Enown as "Cripplegate Hermitage" and "Saint James in the Wall."
   First mention: Given by Richard I. to his chaplain Warin, mentioned in 39 H. III. 1255 (Cal. Pat. Rolls, H. III. 1247-58, p. 402).
   But in an Inquisition, 8 Ed. III. 2nd Nos., No. 78, it is said to have been founded "per Johannem quondam Regem Anglie de assensu communitatis ciuitatis London."
   In an Inquisition taken 27 Ed. I. (No. 127) the hermitage is said to have been built on ground upon which in time of war perambulation ought and is accustomed to be made, and that the chapel ought to be destroyed if the city were beseiged on that side, as the city could be easily taken on that side.
   In the 18 Ed. I. a lane was granted for the enlargement of the place (loci) of St. James Chapel by Crepilgate to the chaplains and hermits thereof (Cal. P.R. Ed. I. 1281-92, p. 401).
   A cell to the Abbot of Garendon in 1289 (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 118, note).
   The tenement of the Hermit of Crepelgate is mentioned in a will of 1297-8 as in the parish of St. Nicholas Hakoun, and this was probably a tenement devised to him for maintenance.
   Henry de Causton in his will made a bequest to the Abbot and hermits of the hermitage withim Crepelgate, 1350 (Ct. H.W. I. 638).
   Described as the parish of "St. James in the Wall," 1580 (London, I. p.m. III. 99-101).
   From these entries it would appear that the chapel and its appurtenances were more considerable in importance and extent than is generally implied by the use of the term "Hermitage," and it seems probable that the cell was originally founded as an Hermitage and that other and perhaps more extensive buildings were added at a later date, possibly at the time of the enlargement of the "place" mentioned in the Inquisition, 8 Ed. I.
   In the reign of Edward I. it was placed under the protection of the Mayor of London and afterwards of the Constable of the Tower (Gent. Mag. Lib. XV. 288-90).
   It came into the King's hands in 1537 by reason of the suppression of the monastery of Garadon in Leicestershire, the chapel being a house or cell of the abbot (L. and P. H. VIII. XII. (1), p. 142).
   The chapel was granted in 1543 to William Lambe, together with the cemetery adjoining beside London Wall, described as within Creplegate in the parish of St. James within London, 34 H. VIII. 1543 (L. and P. H. VIII. XVIII (1), p. 201).
   In 1632 it is described as in the parish of St. Olave (ib. Chas. I. V. p. 491).
   See Lamb's Chapel.
   With reference to the date of the foundation of this chapel and Hermitage, very interesting discoveries were made on the occasion of the rebuilding of Lamb's Chapel, c. 1825. The demolition of the upper part of the edifice rendered accessible a curious crypt below, the groined roof of which was supported by short columns of Norman work. The stonework was adorned with the zigzag ornament characteristic of that period, and the remains suggest an even earlier origin for the Hermitage than the earliest record set out above.
   At a few paces from the eastern end of the building is the base of a round tower which strengthened the north-western angle of the Wall of London (Gent. Mag. Lib. XV. 288-91, and See Trans. Lond. and Midd. Arch. Soc. I. 345).

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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