Monkwell Street


Monkwell Street
   South from Hart Street, Cripplegate, to Silver Street at Nos. 13 and 29 Falcon Square (P.O. Directory). In Cripplegate and Farringdon Wards Within.
   First mention: "Mukewellestrate," 12th cent. (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 23).
   Other forms : "Mogwellestrate," 1287 (Ct. H.W. I. 82). "Mugwellestrate," 1306-7 (ib. 183). "Moggewellestrete," 1310 (ib. 216). "Mugwelstrete," 1364 (ib. II. 84). "Mugglestreet," 1596 (Anc. Deeds, A. 5754). "Munkes well streete" (S. 293). "Mongwell street" (Leake. 1666). "Mugwell Street" (O. and M. 1677). "Monkwel street" or "Mugwel street" (Hatton, 1708).
   Stow says the street was so named of a well at the north end, which belonged to the Abbot of Garendon, whose house or Cell was called "Seint James in the Wall," of which the monks were the Chaplains (S. 301).
   Riley says this derivation is purely imaginary, and suggests that the earliest forms were Mogwell or Mugwell Street. This is, however, an error, for though the street was called by these names interchangeably from the 13th to the 18th centuries, the earliest form is, as shown above, "Mukwellestrate," and this may easily have been a contraction of "Munkwell," the "n" being omitted. This does not account for the "es " or "s" required to prove Stow's derivation.
   On the other hand, it seems more probable that the name is derived from the family name "Muchewella," "Algarus de Muchewella" being mentioned in a deed of the early 12th century (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 61). The family may have been named from the well.
   There seems to have been a well in existence under the crypt of Lamb's Chapel in this street (Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. I. 345).

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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