Another stop on the self-guided “Shakespeare’s London” walk, which can be downloaded from the City of London website, is a little known memorial to Shakespeare and his colleagues Condell and Heminge. The memorial is on the site of St Mary Aldermanbury, a church which was destroyed in the Blitz. Henry Condell and John Heminge, who edited and published the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays, lived in the parish of St Mary Aldermanbury and were buried in its churchyard.
About 50m away from the Cockpit pub (see previous post) there is an old stone wall that is all that remains visible of the Blackfriars Priory that was established here in the 13th century. In 1538, at the Dissolution of the monasteries, the priory was closed.
In 1608, Shakespeare with colleagues, purchased a theatre that had been established in one of the former priory buildings. The theatre was almost directly opposite the Globe Theatre on the other bank of the Thames. The Blackfriars Theatre though, had a roof and could be used for performances in winter.
Shakespeare’s London is a great self-guided walk brochure that we picked up at the tourist information office opposite St Paul’s. It is part of Shakespeare 400 which is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the dramatists’ death with events and exhibitions all over the UK.
The walk covers some well known and not so well known places in Central London connected with William Shakespeare. Hidden away in St Andrews Hill, a tiny lane south of St Paul’s, the Cockpit pub is the first location on the walk. The pub stands on land once owned by Shakespeare when it was known as the old priory gatehouse. Apparently he never lived here even though it was conveniently located near the Globe and the Blackfriars Playhouse.
In London for a two week stay, we went to Leicester Square to see the monument to William Shakespeare. This year is the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard and events are happening all year in London to mark the anniversary.
Another mini library where books can be swapped (see previous blog) is in the Innaloo Megacentre next to Westfield Shopping Centre and opposite the entrance to the Spud Shed. This library is well-stocked with books and has comfortable sofas where you can take a break and read.