We had such a fantastic response to our Hatton Garden Easter Quiz that we’ve decided to start a blog series dedicated to the rich and complex history of Hatton Garden. Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing little tidbits of information so you can learn more about this fascinating area of London. We’ll take you right from its auspicious beginning as a Bishop’s palace, to its becoming the site of factories and slums and right up to its internationally-renowned position in the world of jewellery today.
We’re kicking things off with the name itself! Read on to learn how ‘Hatton’ became a part of Hatton Garden.
Well, as many of you may already know, Hatton Garden gets its name the first half of its name from Sir Christopher Hatton (pictured below), who established this part of London as a sophisticated and elegant area in the sixteenth century.
A favourite of Queen Elizabeth I, Hatton was made Lord Chancellor of England in the 16th century, and in June 1578, he was officially handed the Bishop of Ely’s London residence as a royal gift. The Bishop of Ely granted a lease on a portion of the house and lands for a small sum: £10, ten loads of hay and one red rose per year. This low price fuelled the fire beneath many rumours that he was increasingly important to the queen.
Hatton refurbished the house with funds borrowed from the Crown to establish his own mansion and pay for the maintenance of both house and gardens. The crypt was even used as a tavern during Hatton’s tenancy!
In today’s Hatton Garden, don’t miss a chance to appreciate the fine stone carvings of Treasure House at numbers 19-21. Look out for the narrow alley of Mitre Court where the Mitre Tavern was built by the Bishop of Ely. The latter still contains a piece of the cherry tree around which Elizabeth I is said to have danced. Ely Place remains one of London’s last private roads, whose residents included the poet William Cowper and architect Charles Barry.
In our next post, learn how the 'Gardens' were added to the name of Hatton!