Basinghall Street, EC2V

Place Name

Named after the powerful Basing family who were prominent in the City at the beginning of the 13thCentury. Basinghall, after which the ward is also named, was the family Manor House. King Henry III granted Adam de Basing “certain houses in Aldermanbury and in Milk-street; the advowson of the church at Bassings hall; with other liberties and privileges”. From the late 12thCentury the street was called Bassingshage or Bassiehaghe, derived from Basings’ haga, haga being an Old English word for an enclosed house. By 1220, Bassingehawe was recorded, Basingeshawe’ followed in 1279 and later in 1603, Bassings hall streete. John Leake’s 1667 map of the City of London refers to the ward as Basinghall ward. The family were originally from Basingstoke in Hampshire where they owned large tracts of land, hence their name. By 1287 the family had produced two Lord Mayors of London – Solomon Basing in 1216 and Adam Basing in 1251.  The family also gave their name to The City Ward of Bassishaw, Basinghall Avenue, Basing Court, and Basing Street. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names writes: “It was the custom for powerful men to take over the guard, or ‘weird’, of a section of the city, and this their name came to be applied to the ward, and so survived for centuries after the family itself had died out.”

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