The Palace of the Bishops of Ely

Posted September 1, 2012

Sir John de Kirkby, Treasurer of the Realm to King Edward I, built the Palace of the Bishops of Ely in 1272 in the rural parish of Holborn, just outside the walls of the City of London. The gardens were famous for their produce and sales of onions, garlic, leek, turnips, beans, parsley, strawberries and […]


The Romance of Elizabeth I and Christopher Hatton

Posted September 1, 2012

Christopher Hatton of Holdenby in Northamptonshire was a student at the Inns of Court who, after attending school in Oxford proceeded to the Inner Temple where he excelled at everything – except law!   In 1561, he was made Master of the Game, a fabulous event hosted every year for the students of the Inns of […]


The Bishops Ultimatum

Posted August 30, 2012

Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor to Queen Elizabeth I, was very impressed with the Palace of the Bishops of Ely and required a residence that suited his status.  He persuaded the Queen to negotiate the terms of a lease and so Elizabeth ordered the Bishop Cox to rent the gatehouse to Christopher Hatton.  When the Bishop […]


The Legend of Bleeding Heart Yard.

Posted August 29, 2012

Elizabeth Cecil, widow of William Hatton who inherited the Palace on the death of Christopher Hatton, herself inherited the property despite legal action to prevent it by four Bishops of Ely. She was young, rich, beautiful and a lively socialite whose Thursday night “at home” was considered one of the ultimate glamorous occasions.   She died […]


The Restoration

Posted August 28, 2012

The second Christopher Hatton was a royalist during the Civil War and exiled with Charles II in France.   As a reward for his loyalty, he was made Baron Hatton of Kirby and Comptroller of the King’s Household but his Palace estate in Holborn had become very neglected during his years in exile and he had […]


The Great Fire of London

Posted August 25, 2012

One Sunday morning 2nd September 1666, as the residents of Hatton Garden strolled to St Andrews church in the sunshine, the normal tranquility was shattered by the sound of bells within the walls of the City.  Fire, a common occurrence, did not usually attract much interest but this one had broken out near London Bridge […]


The changing face of Hatton Garden

Posted August 24, 2012

The plague was followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 – which stopped just north of Fleet Street, leaving Hatton Garden dirty but unscathed.  But the area was no longer fashionable. Small business moved in:  Langdales Distillery of Essential Oils was one of the first at number 72 and John Lund made chronometers […]


The Great and the Good of Hatton Garden

Posted August 24, 2012

The new residents of Hatton Garden after the Great Fire of London were mostly the new merchant classes – solid and respectable but not fashionable.  Notable residents included Sir Moses Montefiore at number 87, partner and brother to Baron M. N. Rothschild, whose house later became the Diamond Club until it was demolished in 1999. […]


How Diamonds came to Hatton Garden

Posted August 20, 2012

In 1836, the number of business mention in the London Directory specialising in watches, gemstones, and fine jewellery or refining numbered at just 13.  Clerkenwell had traditionally been the centre for this trade but the overspill to Hatton Garden began as need for specialists increased to meet the demands for fine jewellery by the new […]