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Farringdon Ward Without 2 -
South of Holborn
Key:  Current observations and notes    Holmes (1897)     Other sources     Maps


Existing grounds

St. Bride's Churchyard, Fleet Street. 
Quite an extensive ground around the church - tidy but dull.
St Brides crypt (excavated post war) is the burial place of Samuel Pepys' brother Tom - but not of Pepys himself, as stated in The London Compendium by Ed Glinert (Penguin 2003). Pepys is buried in St Olave's Hart Street. The Compendium also tells us that he was buried at St Olave's, so presumably the compiler thinks there were two Pepys. 
Also in the crypt was Samuel Richardson, whose named coffin was discovered in 1993 during archaeological work. There is a fascinating article on the discovery  and pathology of Richardson's remains in Current Archaeology issue 190 (February 2004) 
The crypt is now a museum containing, amongst other things, an iron coffin.

Crypt photographs courtesy of Robert Bard

Additional ground for St. Brideís, Fleet Street.

Opened in the time of the plague.
Is the present courtyard in Harp Alley, St Brides Street,  partly on the site of ground? Excavated post war.  Under72-82 Farringdon St. Excavated in 1991-2  when 606 burials were found, 8 deep, and a brick burial vault. 
This is off Farringdon Street, is about 750 square yards in extent, and used as a volunteer drill-ground. There are no tombstones, and the ground is untidy. Consecrated 1610. Given by the Earl of Dorset. (Holmes)

Early ward map


Courtyard in Harp Alley

St Bride's Plague Pit, Dorset Rise
Location uncertain, unless it  was the Bridewell ground (see below).

Additional ground for St. Dunstanís in  the West.
Opened 1625, possibly as a plague ground. Presumably this was the only ground for the parish after the rebuilding of the church in 1829.Some tombstones still in situ, but neglected looking.
In Fetter Lane. Asphalted and used as a playground for the Greystoke Place Board School. Some tombstones remain in an enclosure at the edge. 4,750 square feet in area. (Holmes) 


The Temple Churchyard.
Raised, paved area to the north of the church with vaults beneath. Horwood shows the garden to the East of the church as 'churchyard'. 
Burial place of Oliver Goldsmith. 

Partly public thoroughfare, partly closed. (Holmes)



Goldsmith's tomb in background

Goldsmith's tomb prewar

St. Andrew, Holborn.
Reduced considerably when Holborn Viaduct and St Andrew St. Constructed. Built on the the south.
2002 saw the clearance of the crypt and removal of human remains to the City of London Cemetery. They should be comfortable there - COLC was named 'cemetery of the year' in 2001. 
The churchyard was raided by bodysnatchers on the night of the 29th November, 1804. Several graves were opened and the recently buried body of a child was found dumped on the church steps. (The Times, Dec 1st 1804)

Horwood also showing Shoe Lane ground

Bridewell Burial-ground
Now still open ground off Dorset Rise, forming the entrance courtyard and parking area for an office block. The area has won various awards for its planting, sculpture, etc. 

This is about 900 square yards in size; and is at the corner of Tudor and Dorset Streets. It was the burial-ground of the hospital, which has been removed. It is now a very untidy yard, boarded up with a rough advertisement hoarding, in the occupation of H. S. Foster, builder, 7, Tudor Street. It would make a good public playground. (Holmes)

Lost grounds
The Workhouse Ground, Shoe Lane, 

Built over in 1839. The burial place of  Thomas Chatterton. 

Belonging to St. Andrew's, Holborn  --- The Farringdon Market occupied the site, and a street has now taken its place called Farringdon Avenue.

Rocque. See also Horwood above.

St. Dunstan in the West, Fleet Street.  
Old church demolished 1829 for road widening and rebuilt in churchyard to the north. This involved many exhumations from the churchyard, all of of which seems to have provided endless entertainment for the workmen, according to this extract from Bell's Weekly Messenger, October 30th  1831.

 In taking down the old church, and building commodious vaults in the new one, the remains of many thousand individuals were unavoidably removed; they are to be deposited in the new vaults as soon as they are completed. Among the remains of mortality thus dealt with, some singular phenomenon presented themselves. The body of a man was found, without a coffin (which time had destroyed), to all appearance as perfect as it had recently been buried. One of the workmen took up the corpse and placed it against a wall, when it was discovered that the flesh at wholly disappeared, but the skin was quite perfect, forming a hard case, apparently as strong as leather, from which they may be presumed that some process of embalming had been resorted to, and successfully, as far as the skin was affected. Another body was also discovered, without a coffin, in a perfect state, but having the appearance and consistency of putty. On the workmen lifting up the body a quantity of quicksilver ran out of it, about two ounces of which were collected, and is now preserved. This, no doubt, had been injected into the blood vessels, either for some anatomical purpose, or in some process of embalming. 

At the end of the eighteenth century, according to highly unreliable legend, Sweeney Todd ran his business next door to the church, and used the extensive crypt to dump those parts of his victims unsuitable for filling pies. 

Rocque showing old church and graveyard to the north.

Link to Farringdon Without (North)