Today it is but a shadow of its former self, for this side road used to be part of one of the big thoroughfares through the City and was in the 18thCentury divided into two: Great Knightrider Street and Little Knightrider Street running from Tower Royal to St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe. It is often claimed that it was used by the knights riding to the jousts at West Smithfleld. “They were accustomed to assemble here for inspection by their standard-bearer, whose appointment was attached to the soke (a jurisdiction outside the City Walls) which comprised this south-west corner of the city. As standard-bearers the Fitz Walters long held Baynard’s Castle, where they possessed a ‘liberty,’ or exemption from ordinary jurisdiction.” The name was first recorded as Knyghridestrete in 1322 which predates the purchase of the Tower Royal by nearly 50 years.
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