Paul Miller • Link
Strand, L. It reaches from Temple Bar to Charing Cross, and hath two Churches in it, called St. Clement Danes, and St. George. It is also adorn'd with the Royal Palace of Somerset House, in the Stable Yard whereof is a great Plying-place for Watermen; also Wimbleton House, and Northumberland House; which last belongs to the Duke of Somerset : Also here is a Quakers Meetinghouse, betwixt the great and little Savoy Gates, next to which latter dwells Mrs. Cowper, who is at present the King's Distiller.
W. Stow 1722
oliver • Link
I think I remember hearing or reading that "The Strand" used to run alongside the Thames. Is this true? (It would make sense, since one of the meanings of "strand" since at least Chaucer's time has been "beach".) If it is true, did it run along the Thames in Pepys' time? Are there any maps showing it? And when was the land between The Strand and the Embankment filled in?
Susanna • Link
The Strand, c. 1746
The Strand runs along the bottom of this part of the map of London made in 1746. (The street is longer than this section, but can be followed using the links on the page.) This is the section of the street near Somerset House:
Philip Somervail • Link
Somerset House’s own website includes this information on the construction of the Thames Embankment:
“By the second half of the nineteenth century, London's roads [were] becoming increasingly congested and its sewers unable to cope with the needs of a rapidly growing population. As a part of its activities to modernise the infrastructure of the city, the Metropolitan Board of Works undertook to make new roads, construct the Victoria, Albert and Chelsea embankments, and lay a vast, new drainage system.
“The Embankment was intended to carry a new road along the edge of the Thames from Westminster to the City of London and, below ground, to accommodate large sewers and a line for the Metropolitan and District Railway. Construction of the Victoria Embankment to the designs of Sir Joseph Bazalgette began in 1864 and was completed in July 1870.
“The introduction of the Embankment had the effect of distancing the river from the buildings along its north bank, particularly significant for Somerset House, which had been designed to rise directly from the water…. The dramatic waterfront design of Sir William Chambers' Somerset House had effectively been destroyed a little more than a decade since the building of the New Wing had seen its completion.” (From: http://www.somerset-house.org.uk/history/18thce... )
The upshot of this was that the Thames now became too deep for the water to freeze solid, so the frost fairs that had occurred in the past, which Sam Pepys himself may well have known, were no more.
Sjoerd • Link
According to the "Paranormal Database" the ghost of SP has been haunting his old house on Buckingham Street, Strand.
"his blurred, smiling phantom has been reported near the staircase of the building".
At the digging a Foundation for the present Church (St. Mary-le-Strand), the Virgin Earth was discovered at the Depth of Nineteen Feet; whereby 'tis manifest that the Ground in this Neighbourhood originally was not much higher than the River Thames; therefore this Village was truly denominated the Strand, from its Situation on the Bank of the River.—Maitland's History of London, p. 739.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.