Portpool Lane, EC1N

Place Name

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.

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