Ports today are linked to the sea and air which freight coming into a country have to go through. In medieval England the same was true for those entering the City gates, where business was strictly regulated. This meant a thriving business on the outside and the rights to controlling the ports were much sought after. In 1294 Reginald de Grey – who gave Gray’s Inn Road its name – bought most of the manor or Soke of Portpool or Purtepole. It had previously belonged to the Priory of St Bartholomew in West Smithfield. The track, which connected the house with the village of Clerkenwell, is thought to be very old, probably Roman.