Balmes Road, N1

Place Name

Balmes or Bames House was the medieval Manor House and farm built by two brothers who were Spanish merchants. According to Sheila Fairfield in The Streets of London: “Disputes between the parishes of Hackney and Shoreditch meant that parts of the manor lands were claimed by one or the other until 1697, when the boundary was finally settled south of this road.” The house later became a private asylum in the 18thCentury. Mary Lamb, the sister of Charles Lamb, the author and essayist, was incarcerated here.


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