(St.) Paul's Churchyard


(St.) Paul's Churchyard
   A street extending west from Cheapside and Cannon Street to Ludgate Hill on the north south, west and east sides of the Cathedral (P.O. Directory).
   First mention: "Cimiteno sive vico regio vocato Pawles-chirchehawe juxta portam Sancti Pauli," 19 H. VI. (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. p.12).
   In early times it was merely a churchyard surrounding the church, and enclosed by a wall, within which were erected from time to time various buildings connected with the church.
   Subsequently during the rebuilding of the church after the fire of 1087, considerable acquisitions of land round the Church were made from time to time by the Dean and Chapter, and in 1285 licence was granted to enclose the churchyard and precinct with a stone wall having gates and posterns to be open from dawn until night (Cal. P.R. Ed. I. 1281-92, 174).
   Stow goes so far as to assert that by these means the central thoroughfare from Aldgate in the east to Ludgate in the west was blocked up and the traffic of the City impeded, with the result that some new means of ingress and egress had to be devised. If this statement could be verified it would denote the existence in early times of a main road extending from Cornhill to Ludgate Hill through the centre of the City, but there is no direct evidence of the existence of this thoroughfare.
   The encroachments, however, so seriously interfered with the liberties of the City that complaint is made against the Dean and Chapter in 14 Ed. II. that they had appropriated for the use of the church a piece of land on which the Mayor and citizens had been accustomed to hold the Court, called "Folkmot," and had enclosed it with a wall and built houses on it, and had appropriated other pieces of land, and further that they had obstructed the gate of St. Augustine, so that people had not free ingress and egress through it. The Dean and Chapter replied by producing the charters, granting the lands and privileges to them (Lib. Cust. I. 339, et seq.), and no further action was taken in the matter.
   Within the precincts of the churchyard were the cloisters, the Pardon Churchyard, the Chapter House, a charnel house and chapel over it.
   The bishop's palace stood at the north-west corner.
   At the north-east end stood the Cross, for centuries a celebrated meeting-place for public purposes and in later days for the delivery of sermons.
   See St. Paul's Cross.
   The first shops were erected in the churchyard about 1587 and before the Fire, these were mainly inhabited by Stationers.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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