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  1. #1

    Default Hermitage street,Wapping

    In 18th and 19th century references to individuals there is mention of them residing in Hermitage street. None of the online maps of that section of East London show such a street. There is Great Hermitage Street and Little Hermitage Street but no plain Hermitage. Anyone have any ideas? I know that these old maps did not contain every alley and court and the building of the London docks at beginning cleared a lot of streets. Or is it something more mundane like just leaving off the prefix?
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  2. #2
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    Hi Ed,

    Looking at Greenwood's 1830 map of London, there was a Hermitage Street but it was in Paddington.

    The only other mentions in the index are Great Hermitage Street and Little Hermitage (no 'Street') which adjoin in Wapping.

    I would tend to go for the mundane option!

    Peter

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    In the 1841 census there was a Hermitage Stairs (in or near Wapping High Street).

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    How many persons in London, Central or West, amongst those who have heard of "Wapping," or who have passed through its leading Thames-side thoroughfares, are aware that one of its oldest portions has been known for many years by the name of "The Island." An island, in sooth, there exists, but one not formed by a convulsion of nature, but by the artificial handiwork of man. The formation of the London Docks several years ago displaced a thickly-populated district running between East Smithfield and on and beyond the foot of Leman-street on the one side, and bounded by the straight line of Hermitage-street, parallel with High-street and the River Thames, on the other. Between the two dock-gates that open into the river, there is an extent of inhabited territory extending about a quarter of a mile in length, and less than half that in breadth.

    This singular spot of London East is an artificial island, and, comprised within its space, it exhibits the two extremes of great commercial wealth and importance, and the lowest phases of human suffering and indigence.

    Wapping Island is entered from the City by two inlets, one leading by the side of the Tower, and the other through Nightingale-lane.

    Passing over the dock-gates, the street to the right is the main thoroughfare, and is known as the High-street; the principal one to the left is Great Hermitage-street, as a tablet tells on a corner house dating from 1726. Once upon the island, a sanitary tour of two or three hours in duration will unfold a microcosm of social life to the daring visitor so multiform in character that he can scarcely hope often to meet with it again in the same compass. On the river-side are the large shipping wharfs, with their Babel of noise, their din of cranks, cranes, and hydraulic lifts. The long street is lined with hosts of jabbering carmen, grumbling cabbies, touting porters, and provoked policemen, who are vainly appealed to, and who are as vainly appealing in turn to obstinate obstructives to "Move on, I tell ye," - realising to the mind the Irish taxman's vow of vengeances. From an 1871 text.
    Reading this and looking at the 1878 Ordnance Survey map, I interpret that Hermitage and Great Hermitage Street are one and the same.

  5. #5
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    An 1896 London Atlas seems to equate the Wapping one with Great Hermitage Street, now Hermitage Wall, north of and parallel to Wapping High Street, and extending west to Sampson St or Knighten St.

  6. #6

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    Pre 1800 there are references to Hermitage Street, Great Hermitage Street, Little Hermitage Street and even New Hermitage Street.

    The earliest reference is John Wesley's diary 1739-1742 which refers to "Great Hermitage Street, Wapping".
    The London Directory 1772 lists "Goff & Chapman, coal-mer, New Hermitage Street, Wapping or Billingsgate.
    The publication "A general state of the corporation of the London-hospital, published 1796" lists "John Rixon, Esq Hermitage Street, Wapping". However, Jackson's Oxford Journal, Oct 22 1803, when recording a Miss Rixon's marriage refers to ""of Great Hermitage Street".

    By 1841 The Post Office London Directory only lists Great and Little Hermitage Street.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  7. #7

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    Thanks for all of the responses. Seems as though there was not a Hermitage street as such so references to it are merely an abbreviation. Interesting article on the island aspect. I knew this of course,as I was born there and had to cross a bridge to visit grandparents off Cable street, the tower or Shadwell park. There is a strange history here in that before the building of the London docks Wapping had it's fair share of gentry, prosperous merchants, solicitors and ship owners etc, and now it has a different kind of gentry complete with land rovers and Porsches.
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  8. #8

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    Have you checked London Old Maps? https://mapco.net/london.htm

    Tab down to "Map of London 1767" which is the earliest to show "L Hermitage St" and "N Hermitage St".

    Bowles' 1775 map lists and shows "Hermitage St" and "N Hermitage St".

    Cary's 1795 shows "L Hermitage St" and "Great Hermitage St".
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by helachau View Post
    Have you checked London Old Maps? https://mapco.net/london.htm

    Tab down to "Map of London 1767" which is the earliest to show "L Hermitage St" and "N Hermitage St".

    Bowles' 1775 map lists and shows "Hermitage St" and "N Hermitage St".

    Cary's 1795 shows "L Hermitage St" and "Great Hermitage St".
    Thanks for the reference but I have seen most of these maps over the years. I think that bowles map actually says "L Hermitage Street" but the L falls in the adjacent section. Presumably because it is a pocket version lots of streets are unnamed, but even worse within a couple of inches two are incorrectly named. Green bank is named as Green lane and a section of Wapping street is called Wapping dock, which it never was as far as I have been able to establish. I don't know what he did with the rest of London!
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  10. #10

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    I don't think Bowles' map reads "L Hermitage Street". He names "Hermitage St" and "N Hermitage St" in the list of streets covered - as opposed to the map itself which, unfortunately, has the first character on one sheet and the remainder on another.

    But the bottom line, as you mention elsewhere, is that the use of "Little, Great, New" or no descriptor is somewhat flexible.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

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