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The Restoration

Posted August 28, 2012

The Palace of Ely in 1772

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 no funds to restore it to its former glory.  So, on 12th June 1654, he leased the estate to Robert Smyth of Upton for 200 years for £1,500.

The population of London had doubled in 60 years and it was inevitable that the land could no longer be used for strawberries and vines!  Abraham Arlidge, carpenter, master builder, property speculator and surveyor for the Hatton estate in Holborn, drew a map to show the precise location of 372 new leasehold properties, an estate of graceful terraces for the wealthy and fashionable.

The streets were laid out:  Charles Street (now Greville Street) in honour of the new king, East Cross Street, Great and Little Kirby Street named after the original Hatton estate in Kirby, Northamptonshire.  Hatton Wall marked the northern wall of the estate.  To the north lay the aptly named Liquor Pond and Hockley in the hole where bear baiting took place.

Evelyn writes on 7th June 1659:

 “To London … and see the foundations laying for a long streete

and buildings in Hatton Garden, designed or a little towne,

lately an ample garden”

Image: A wood engraving of the Palace of the Bishops of Ely , Holborn, produced by William Henry Prior for a book on old an new London in 1878.