First recorded as Smethefeld in the 12thCentury when it was a large open area neighbouring Tower Hill, used as an open space outside the City wall where apprentices and journeymen used to practice the arts of warfare. By 1229 it became Estsmethefeld, distinguishing it from West Smithfield in the City. The name coming from the Old English words smēthe and feld meaning a smooth, or even, field. It was given as a gift to the Priory of Holy Trinity from the Knights’ Guild who held Portsoken. See Portsoken Street.
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