Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Down Your Alley- Herbal Hill by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Delighted to welcome a new participant to the series…with the pen name Gibson Square writes The Cabbie Blog and has an archive full of entertaining, informative and revealing posts on London where he is a black cab driver…and you might like to pop into the back of his cab series to see all the rich and famous or infamous he has ferried around the capital.

This week a post from the Urban View series which looks at buildings or locations in London that have a hidden history..and as I have worked with a lot of herbal therapies over the years, this one caught my eye…

Down Your Alley- Herbal Hill by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog

‘Take ginger, galingale, cinnamon, nutmeg, grains of paradise, cloves bruised, fennel seed, caraway seeds, origanum, one ounce each. Next, take sage, wild marjoram, pennyroyal, mint, red roses, thyme, pellitory, rosemary, wild thyme, chamomile, lavender, one handful of each.

Beat the spices small, bruise the herbs, put all into a limbeck with wine for twelve hours; then distil.’

If taken four times daily it was claimed to cure dropsy, prolong life to eternity and probably scare evil spirits out of their wits. In our day of sophisticated medical remedies it would take the courage of a hero to contemplate swallowing such a preparation, but until less than 100 years ago it was a typical remedy, at the finger tips of every dedicated housewife.

The secret of a successful mixture was to have a goodly number of ingredients; that is, as many as necessary to convince the patient that it was going to do him good. Thus, a cure for a simple illness, such as the common cold, might have included merely two or three varieties of herb whereas the most popular cure for the plague, known as ‘plague water’, included the combination of fifty-nine varieties.

Herbal Hill

Herbs and spices have been the basis of every medicinal preparation ever since the cure of illness was first thought of. On the kitchen shelf of every household, there was a mighty tome of recipes for the treatment of all kinds of ailment; the housewife diagnosed the problem and prescribed the treatment. Only when in immediate danger did anyone think of calling in a physician, or more commonly a herbalist. Treatments varied widely and no two herbalists held alike views on remedies; they were all independent in their thinking and everyone claimed to have ‘invented’ the cure for all ills.

The demand for herbs in a large city like London was such that some gardeners dedicated their entire grounds to the cultivation of herbs; these were the main suppliers to the herbalists, but every gardener choosing to set aside a plot for the growing of herbs would be sure to sell his yield. We know that in the 16th century there was an established garden on the site of Herbal Hill wherein a variety of herb plants were grown; whether this was an expanse entirely given over to the purpose, or a section of a multi-purpose garden is not known. Also unknown is the owner or tender of the garden. There are various possibilities but three distinctly come out as clear contenders.

Firstly, there was St Mary’s Nunnery which occupied the site to the east of Farringdon Road; the nuns owned numerous acres of land but their boundary is unlikely to have extended further west than the line of the present main road. Then there was the garden of the Bishops of Ely, notable throughout London for its quality orchards and a fine strawberry patch of which Shakespeare found necessity to mention in Richard III: ‘My Lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there.’ The Bishop’s garden was a sizeable estate but presumably, the northern limit was on a line with that of the garden of Sir Christopher Hatton who gained his plot from the Ely estate with the help of Elizabeth I. This means that the Herbal Hill site would have been just outside the Bishop’s garden.

Coming in very strongly is John Gerard, barber-surgeon and native of Cheshire, who moved to London in 1577 and took up the position of head gardener to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. Gerard bought a house in Holborn, about midway between the two gardens he was commissioned to tend; one at Lord Burghley’s mansion in the Strand and the other at Theobalds, to the north of the Ely estate. On these plots, he continued the work he had been following for many years, that of refining the art of rearing and nurturing an unrivalled array of herbs, fruits and flowers. The high degree of his dedication inspired the writing of Herbal, published in 1597, the first comprehensive catalogue of herbs, ever compiled. In 1602 Gerard’s skill was recognised by Anne of Denmark and as a reward for his commitment to the subject he was granted the lease of a two-acre plot of land on the site of the present King’s College. All evidence does seem to suggest that it was the activities of John Gerard that led to the naming of Herbal Hill.

There are no herbs or flowers here now, not even a solitary ghost of Gerard’s skilful creation desperately trying to poke its head between the cracked paving. Today, Herbal Hill gives the impression of not knowing where it is; it seems lost in its surroundings of the not quite inner city, yet not quite anything else.

Image: Looking south from its junction with Ray Street. This narrow street runs right through to Clerkenwell Road by Dr. Neil Clifton (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Much of the original source material for Down Your Alley has been derived from Ivor Hoole’s GeoCities website. The site is now defunct and it is believed Ivor is no more. Thankfully much of Ivor’s work has been archived by Ian Visits and Phil Gyford

©Gibson Square 2018

About : Gibson Square.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this page about CabbieBlog. Writing under the pseudonym Gibson Square – the destination of the first ‘run’ in the Blue Book of The Knowledge – I put pen to paper about all things to be found in London.

Why spend money sitting in a noisy cab listening to whingeing from your London cab driver, or having him fill your head with useless London trivia when you can sit in comfort and read it for free?

I promise if you have a love for London you will not be disappointed. So sit down, have a cuppa, and spend a little time in my company.

I have been a Licensed Black London Cabbie since January 1997 and over that time and the five years that it took to gain The Knowledge, I’ve grown to love and despair of London in equal measure.

On Tuesday and Friday I post about London places that have taken my interest, while every Sunday is given over to nuggets of trivial information with a short piece relating to the day in question.

Connect with Gibson Square on Social Media

Website: https://www.cabbieblog.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LondonCabbie
Twitter London Trivia: https://twitter.com/CabbieBlog

My thanks to Gibson Square for letting me share his fascinating posts about London….I hope you will head over and discover more secrets about the city and its people….

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – An Urban View – 223 Bow Road by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Delighted to welcome a new participant to the series…with the pen name Gibson Square writes The Cabbie Blog and has an archive full of entertaining, informative and revealing posts on London where he is a black cab driver…and you might like to pop into the back of his cab series to see all the rich and famous or infamous he has ferried around the capital.

This week a post from the Urban View series which looks at buildings or locations in London that have a hidden history..

An Urban View – 223 Bow Road by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog

Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building which you might have passed without noticing, and this at the side of the main road one took quite a time to find.

The building this month is passed unnoticed by thousands every day standing as it does incongruously next to a drive-in McDonald’s close to the Bow flyover, so anonymous are its outward features they belie the building’s importance.

The origin of Bow

There is a story that the name Bow was derived from the shape of the arch of the 12th-century bridge which spanned the river Lea where Bow flyover now stands. This bridge is thought to have been the first stone-arched Bridge in Britain and this was 60 years before the first such bridge was built across the Thames in London.

There is a story that this bridge was commissioned to be built by Queen Matilda after she ‘had been well washed in the waters’ when trying to cross by the ford when on her way to Barking. During the 14th century, there was a chapel on the bridge dedicated to St Katherine and in this, there lived a hermit. Chaucer referred to Bow in his Canterbury Tales which takes the name back at least to the 14th century.

9-day Morris dance

No. 223 Bow Road seems to sit rather shyly near to the brash new MacDonald’s nearby. The building dates back to the 17th century and so it is possible that Will Kempe, a leading Shakespearean actor, who crossed the river Lea at Bow in 1600 on his 9-day Morris Dance from Stepney to Norwich, might have known this little house with its two quaint bay windows on the first floor.

Its rounded bays on the ground floor were added later in the early 19th century to make a shop front in the rural village of Bow. The oldest photograph of this building is of M. Howes was an old established corn and flour dealer selling animal feed, horse mixture, straw, and hay from this double-bay 17th-century house. Grade II listed it is one of the oldest properties in East London.

©Gibson Square 2013

About : Gibson Square.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this page about CabbieBlog. Writing under the pseudonym Gibson Square – the destination of the first ‘run’ in the Blue Book of The Knowledge – I put pen to paper about all things to be found in London.

Why spend money sitting in a noisy cab listening to whingeing from your London cab driver, or having him fill your head with useless London trivia when you can sit in comfort and read it for free?

I promise if you have a love for London you will not be disappointed. So sit down, have a cuppa, and spend a little time in my company.

I have been a Licensed Black London Cabbie since January 1997 and over that time and the five years that it took to gain The Knowledge, I’ve grown to love and despair of London in equal measure.

On Tuesday and Friday I post about London places that have taken my interest, while every Sunday is given over to nuggets of trivial information with a short piece relating to the day in question.

Connect with Gibson Square on Social Media

Website: https://www.cabbieblog.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LondonCabbie
Twitter London Trivia: https://twitter.com/CabbieBlog

My thanks to Gibson Square for letting me share his fascinating posts about London….I hope you will head over and discover more secrets about the city and its people….

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – What is a Cab? and What’s Not by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Delighted to welcome a new participant to the series…with the pen name Gibson Square writes The Cabbie Blog and has an archive full of entertaining, informative and revealing posts on London where he is a black cab driver…and you might like to pop into the back of his cab series to see all the rich and famous or infamous he has ferried around the capital.

This week a look at what is a cab.. and what’s not…

What is a Cab? and What’s not… by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog

For years the London cab has been easily recognisable by tourists and residents alike, its design reminiscent of a more gentle age of old fashioned continuity and dependability – well sometimes.

It had its faults – Kamikazi steering which when confronted by a narrow gap would take it into its tiny brain to swerve without the intervention of the driver.

The old FX eventually transmogrified into the imaginatively named TX series looking remarkably similar to its predecessor it was easily recognizable. Apart from the small number of Metro cabs on the street this vehicle has dominated the cab trade; with cabbies inevitably complaining that that there was no choice in which vehicle they drove.

Like London buses, you wait for one to come along and three arrive at once.

Mercedes-Vito

Mercedes-VitoFirst was the Mercedes, looking like a van with windows apart from being – sometimes – painted black and an attempt to distinguish it from white van man, while it most certainly doesn’t resemble a London cab. For the driver it has been a revelation in driving, it feels as if you are behind the wheel of – well a Mercedes. Rear wheel steering manages to overcome the elusive 25ft turning circle required by TfL’s Condition of Fitness for taxis.

Nissan-NV200

Nissan-NV200Next off the starting blocks is the Nissan NV200. Claiming to be the world’s taxi it has already beaten off competition to be New York’s official taxi of choice. Boasting much improved fuel consumption and a glazed roof from which passengers will be able to observe London’s leaden skies, it has Boris dancing a little jig as Nissan have promised to introduce an electric version by 2014 bringing his promise to introduce by 2020 an all electric taxi fleet closer to reality.

Karson-Concept-VI

Karson-Concept-VINow hot on the two pretenders’ heels a third cab comes along. Turkish car manufacturer Karsan (no doubt to be dubbed Karsi), has shown their electric Concept VI which appears to tick all the boxes. Right hand drive, zero emissions, 25ft turning circle and uniquely electronically operated wheelchair ramps which can be used on either side of the vehicle. But unlike the others, with the exception of the TX4, it was designed as a cab from scratch. This vehicle won New York’s popular vote for their taxi of the future.

Ford-Transit-Taxi

Ford-Transit-TaxiAlso in the pipeline is the Ford Transit Taxi and that will really make London’s cabbies White Van Men. Picture from Taxi Leaks

©Gibson Square 2018

About : Gibson Square.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this page about CabbieBlog. Writing under the pseudonym Gibson Square – the destination of the first ‘run’ in the Blue Book of The Knowledge – I put pen to paper about all things to be found in London.

Why spend money sitting in a noisy cab listening to whingeing from your London cab driver, or having him fill your head with useless London trivia when you can sit in comfort and read it for free?

I promise if you have a love for London you will not be disappointed. So sit down, have a cuppa, and spend a little time in my company.

I have been a Licensed Black London Cabbie since January 1997 and over that time and the five years that it took to gain The Knowledge, I’ve grown to love and despair of London in equal measure.

On Tuesday and Friday I post about London places that have taken my interest, while every Sunday is given over to nuggets of trivial information with a short piece relating to the day in question.

Connect with Gibson Square on Social Media

Website: https://www.cabbieblog.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LondonCabbie
Twitter London Trivia: https://twitter.com/CabbieBlog

My thanks to Gibson Square for letting me share his fascinating posts about London….I hope you will head over and discover more secrets about the city and its people….

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – London Trivia – Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Delighted to welcome a new participant to the series…with the pen name Gibson Square writes The Cabbie Blog and has an archive full of entertaining, informative and revealing posts on London where he is a black cab driver…and you might like to pop into the back of his cab series to see all the rich and famous or infamous he has ferried around the capital. Each Sunday trivia is posted for that date about London and I have chosen 9th December 1914 as I saw the name Pooh Bear..

On 9 December 1914 Lt. Harry Colebourne of the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps purchased a black bear from a hunter, who had shot the mother, for $20 in Ontario. He named it Winnie short for Winnipeg. Incredibly he brought the bear to England when it became the regiment’s unofficial mascot, leaving the bear to the London Zoo. A. A. MIlne and his son Christopher Robin saw the creature and thus Winnie the Pooh was born.

On 9 December 1868 one of Britain’s most famous politicians became Prime Minister for the first time. William Ewart Gladstone would become Prime Minister three more times

Workhouse Rule 15: No person of either sex be allowed to smoke in bed or in any room of the house upon pain of being put in the dungeon 6 hours

London’s biggest private home is Witanhurst, on Highgate West Hill: 65 rooms, including 25 bedrooms, a gym and a library, and plans underground cinema, beauty parlour and car park

The Bethlehem Royal Hospital is world’s oldest institution specialising in mental health was founded in 1247 near Bishopsgate, in 1800 the hospital moved to Lambeth, it now houses the Imperial War Museum

Queen Victoria was offended when a 14-storey tower blocked her view of Houses of Parliament it led to a Bill capping all buildings to 80ft

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, a 115-metre-high (377 ft) sculpture and observation tower in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, is Britain’s largest piece of public art

London’s first sandwich bar, Sandy’s, opened in Oxendon Street in 1933, the greater informality of eating soon spread throughout the capital as the culture of fast-food was established

On 9 December 2000 the fastest ever goal in the Premiership was scored after 9.9 seconds by Ledley King for Spurs v Bradford City

Harry Beck’s map was considered too big a departure from the norm, but the public liked it and it became official in 1933

 

Founded in London in 1670, the Hudson’s Bay Company is the world’s oldest chartered company and Founded in 1694, the Bank of England was the first privately owned national bank in any country

During the 1920s and 1930s Aberdeen based shepherd George Donald would bring his flock down to Hyde Park grazing his sheep to keep grass level

Trivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @CabbieBlog
A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.

©Gibson Square 2018

About : Gibson Square.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this page about CabbieBlog. Writing under the pseudonym Gibson Square – the destination of the first ‘run’ in the Blue Book of The Knowledge – I put pen to paper about all things to be found in London.

Why spend money sitting in a noisy cab listening to whingeing from your London cab driver, or having him fill your head with useless London trivia when you can sit in comfort and read it for free?

I promise if you have a love for London you will not be disappointed. So sit down, have a cuppa, and spend a little time in my company.

I have been a Licensed Black London Cabbie since January 1997 and over that time and the five years that it took to gain The Knowledge, I’ve grown to love and despair of London in equal measure.

On Tuesday and Friday I post about London places that have taken my interest, while every Sunday is given over to nuggets of trivial information with a short piece relating to the day in question.

Connect with Gibson Square on Social Media

Website: https://www.cabbieblog.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LondonCabbie
Twitter London Trivia: https://twitter.com/CabbieBlog

My thanks to Gibson Square for letting me share his fascinating posts about London….I hope you will head over and discover more secrets about the city and its people….