I am beginning to get used to working in Blackfriars, not Piccadilly.   It’s now mainly a railway station and pub, but it was once a Dominican monastery, founded in Shoe Lane in 1221 and given a bigger site by the river just outside the city walls in 1263.   It became extremely important, the seat of parliament and the repository of state records, until dissolved in 1538 when it was given to the Master of the Revels, which led in due course to the monks’ refectory being turned into a playhouse.   The theatre, which specialised in performances by boy actors (originally choirboys), was closed down in 1642.   Ben Jonson lived here and Van Dyck.   Now it’s just somewhere sandwiched between the City and Fleet Street.


2 thoughts on “Blackfriars

  1. Jane Wainwright says:

    When we first came to London in the late 60s, the lively Mermaid Theatre and the Times base in Printing House Square made Blackfriars a destination. And the pub was always popular.

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