Phil • Link
Later to be where Francis Thompson saw the ghost of Chatterton.
Some older buildings remains, including the Lamb and Flag pub
History of Covent Garden
"[In the] 17th century. [Covent Garden] was then the scene of the first experiment in London of town planning, and the creation of the first public square in the country. It was the work of three men - the Earl of Bedford the developer, Charles I, who gave his strong support to the scheme, and Inigo Jones the most important architect of the day.
Having seen and studied the many public squares in Italy, he brought the idea to London and he also surrounded it with a perfectly straight grid of streets. Londoners, used to the random and haphazard arrangement of winding streets, alleyways and courtyards, must have been amazed. Architecturally, it was a watershed in English architecture."
Susanna • Link
Here is Covent Garden on a map of London made in 1746:
david mcirvine • Link
SEEING A PICTURE IN AN ALEHOUSE
Covent Garden was generally festooned with paintings although I wonder what sort of picture Sam sees here. Genre painting? Something else?
Michael Robinson • Link
Wencaslas Hollar (Czech/British, 1607-1677)
View across Inigo Jones' Piazza in Covent Garden, towards St Paul's Church.
Etching, c. 1647.
The allusions to the square, the church, and the piazza are of constant occurrence in the dramas of the age of Charles II. and Queen Anne. The allusions are, however, for the most part to the loose morality of those who dwelt in Covent Garden, and the libertinism of those visitors; and Kit Smart's Epilogue to the Lying-in Hospital, written in 1755, and spoken by Shuter, shows that, even as late as the middle of the last century, almost any coarseness would be tolerated in reference to Covent Garden. Among the now happily scarce publications, for which collectors of miscalled facetia readily give long prices, are Harris's Lists of Covent Garden Ladies, published annually from about 1760 to nearly the end of the century.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
Covent Garden, received its name from its being formerly a garden belonging to the Abbot and Monks of the convent of Westminster, whence it was called Convent Garden, of which the present name is a corruption. At the dissolution of religious houses it fell to the Crown, and was given first to Edward Duke of Somerset; but soon after, upon his attainder, it reverted again to the Crown, and Edward VI. granted it in 1552 to John Earl of Bedford, together with a field, named the Seven Acres, which being now built into a street, is from its length called Long Acre. Covent Garden would have been without dispute one of the finest squares in Europe, had it been finished on the plan designed for it, by that excellent architect Inigo Jones. The piazza is grand and noble; besides the convenience of walking dry under it in wet weather, the superstructure it support is light and elegant. In the middle is a handsome column supporting four sun dials, and on the west side of the square, is the church, erected by Inigo Jones, and esteemed by the best judges one of the most simple, and at the same time most perfect pieces of architecture, that the art of man can produce. But the market before it diminishes the beauty of the square.
---London and Its Environs Described. R. Dodsley, 1761.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.