The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.502852, -0.124991


The land was acquired by Henry VIII and used as an orchard, and became a bowling green after the Restoration. The area shown on the map is approximate, based on this 1680 map and pp.480-1 of the Latham & Matthews Companion.

3 Annotations

First Reading

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

Bowling Alley, now Bowling Street, leading from Dean's Yard to Tufton Street, Westminster. Colonel Blood, who stole the Crown from the Tower in the reign of Charles II., died (August 24, 1680) in a house at the south-west corner of this alley, and was buried in the adjoining churchyard of the New Chapel, Tothill Fields. But so numerous had been his tricks that after the funeral many people began to suspect that the real Colonel Blood had never died at all. The coffin was taken up, and opened before the coroner and jury, and the corpse was identified by the extraordinary size of one of the thumbs. The house, of course, is no longer the same; but drawings of it exist. In the Overseer's Books of St. Margaret's parish for 1565 the "Myll next to Bowling Alley" is rated.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Pepys says, "And so every body to the Parke [St. James's], and by and by the chappell done, and the King and Duke into the bowling-green, and upon the leads, whither I went, ..."…

This plus the annotations lead me to think there was a public Bowling Green in St. James Park (Henry VIII's orchard converted after the Restoration).

And there was also a Bowling Alley surrounded by houses as part of the Palace of Whitehall ("the Overseer's Books of St. Margaret's parish for 1565 the 'Myll next to Bowling Alley" is rated' and where Blood died).

Anyone have a guide to the Palace of Whitehall?

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.





  • Sep