Bury Place, WC1A

PLACE NAME

Thought to be a shortening of Bloomsbury. The name Bloomsbury itself was first introduced in 1201 when William de Blemond (or Blemund), a Norman landowner acquired the land, it is a development from Blemondisberi – literally the bury, or manor, of Blemond. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names says that de Blemond was the brother of an eminent Anglo-Norman City merchant called Gervase, who owned a large mansion near Cornhill; hence the family name Belmont, which means Corn Hill. It has also been suggested that the family took their name from the area of Blemont in France. Either way, the estate stretched from modern Euston Road to High Holborn, and west to east from Tottenham Court Road to Southampton Row. The house at today’s Bedford Place survived up until 1800. Development of the area began under the earls of Southampton who acquired the land at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1545 and continued under the dukes of Bedford in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the southern part of the Bedford Estate. The 4th Earl of Southampton built Bloomsbury Square, and soon after Bloomsbury Place, in 1661. Bloomsbury Market, built by the 3rd Duke of Bedford, opened on Barter Street in 1730 and to provide access, an old cart track was widened and later named Bury Street. On a 1746 map the stretch of the modern Bury Place between Little Russell Street and Bloomsbury Way (then Hart Street) was Hole in the Wall Yard, which according to John Strype in 1720 was popular in the early 18thCentury for its “cheese cakes, pies, tarts, etc there made at the house so called.” On Horwood’s 1792 – 1799 map the whole street is called Compton Street. The 1841 Post Office Directory features an eclectic mixture of inhabitants, including a tailor, a wine and spirit merchant, two engravers, and a professor of music, along with the Pied Bull Pub which also features in London Robson’s Street Directory of 1832 and is believed to be one the earliest entries to include pub history detail. Sometime in the early 20thCentury the street was renamed Bury Place.  

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