- East from St. Paul's Cathedral to Poultry (P.O. Directory). In Cordwainer and Cheap Wards, Cripplegate Ward Within, Farringdon Ward Within, and Bread Street Ward.First mention: "Chepsyde," temp. H. VIII. (H. MSS. Com. Var. Coll. ii. 49). "Chepesyde," 2 H. VIII. 1510 (Lond. I. p.m. I. 74).Former name and forms (including earliest mention) : "Westceape," 1067 (Cott. Ch. vi. 3). "Vico fori," c. 1125-30 (MS. D. and C. St. Paul's Liber L. ff. 47-50). "Foro de Westchep," c. 1214-22 (Ch. Harl. 43, A. 56). "Westcheph," H. III. (Anc. Deeds, A. 2156). "Chepe," 1291-4 (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 190). "Great Street called Westchepe," 1249 (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 25) ; "the chepe (foro) of London," 1257 (Ano. Deeds, A. 9656). "Vicum de Westchep," 10 Ed. I. 1282 (Cal. P.R. Ed. I. 1281-92, p. 24).In the old days before the Fire it was a handsome street, and was ornamented by the Cross, the Standard, and the Conduit. It must have been of considerable width, as the market was held in the middle of the street, while justings also took place in it from time to time.In process of time the street has been raised several feet, so that it is 28 ft. higher than when St. Paul's was first built, as appears by marks discovered when the new foundations were laid (Strype, ed. 1720, I. iii. 198).Some houses at the south-west corner, near St. Paul's Churchyard, were taken down c. 1760 to widen the street.This was the site of the great market of London, and the several trades were represented by their selds in it. The street was named from the market, A.S. "ceap" = " barter," "purchase."The name "Westcheap" was used to distinguish it from the market at the eastern end of the City, designated Eastcheap.A chalk wall has been found crossing Cheapside diagonally from Bread Street to Wood Street, at a depth of 12 ft. (Arch. XXVII. 150).To the north-east of its junction with St. Paul's Churchyard, a domestic building was found, the section at the depth of 18 ft. presenting a view of the hypocaust, with its pillars of tiles. Above these was a tessellated pavement. Roach Smith speaks of the building as a kiln, and says pottery was found there (pp. 79 and 110). Coins were also found (Arch. XXIX. 272).
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.
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