Named after The Friars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, they were known as White Friars from their white robes. They are thought to have been founded in the 12thCentury, on Mount Carmel, in Israel in the Crusader States, hence the name Carmelites. They came to England sometime around 1241 and having settled first in Kent they became so successful they founded monasteries in London and Cambridge within a few years. Their land in the City, donated by Sir Richard de Grey, lay between this medieval lane – the eastern boundary of the monastic site – and the Temple. Within the walled precinct was their cemetery alongside Fleet Street, a church on the site of Bouverie Street, monastic buildings – a portion of which can still be seen in the cellars of the modern 65 Fleet Street building – and gardens stretching to the River Thames. Appears on John Rocque’s 1746 map of London as Water Lane.
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