Monuments and Dust

Monuments and Dust

London Times: 22 Apr 1851

Antiquities of London and the Guide Books.


Sir, -- Having observed you for some years to be foremost upon every occasion to save from destruction any memento of former days, and to allow the correction of an error, I beg leave to solicit the favour of your permitting me to complain, through the medium of your widely-circulating journal, of the wholsesale manner in which the antiquities of the metropolis are being destroyed by the editorial pens of the numerous "handbooks" now so abundant.

In Weale's , page 162, visitors are informed that "St. John's gate, Clerkenwell, is, with the east window of the modernized church a little distant to the north-east, the only remnant of the great establishment of Knights Hospitallers who settled here in 1100." Instead of such being the case, there are still in existence the east and south walls, with windows, and the early English crypt of the Priory Church, in an excellent state of preservation, and well worthy of notice, besides other remains of interest.

In Murray's we are told that Bishop Burnet's house "was pulled down not long ago," whereas it is still standing (although the forecourt is partly built upon), and may be recognized as the Bishop's residence by comparing it with the view in Cromwell's .

I am, Sir, very obediently yours,


St. John's-square.