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Guidebook: East End

Charles Rex

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The East End of London had been rebuild after the fire of 1676 and earlier the one of 1666. It was a curious part of London, where the merchants met with the most common folk and let trade flourish, while it also gave housing to the poor.


Exit points:


Royal Exchange


The rebuilt Royal Exchange was described as "that most Stately and most Magnificent piece of building". Destroyed by the Great Fire of '66, the King required its replacement to be even more impressive than the original. A great stone structure, with two storeys and high vaulted ceilings, set around an arcaded courtyard and an elaborate façade, it was grand indeed; at testament to the solidity of the Monarchy.


Although the focus of commerce was moving westward as the city expanded, the Royal Exchanged remained a vital focal point for commerce in London. Here could be found such commodities as the highest quality imported silks and wines, and the many exotic imports of the East India Company; truly an international marketplace contained within one impressive edifice.


Recently moved into their new offices in the Royal Exchange, Master Higgins and his staff offered a fairly new but increasingly popular service. Clients are greeted in the front office, where a clerk attends a long counter. Beyond this, two clerks worked, each at a large desk. Stairs along the left wall led upward, while two doors in the wall to the right led to private offices.

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C. Hoare & Co Bankers


C. Hoare & Co. Bankers, or Hoare and Co. for short, was founded by Sir Richard Hoare, in 1672. The offices are to be found under the sign of the Golden Bottle, in Cheepside. The public office is large and open, with a long counter, separating patrons from staff, running the length of the room. Three clerks busily worked behind the counter, but were ever ready to wait upon patrons. A pair of very large men stood discreetly near the door.


Sir Richard had begun his career as an apprentice to a goldsmith. Goldsmithing, of course, went hand in hand with basic banking. Thus, upon his release from the Goldsmiths' Guild, he formed the first private deposit bank. And, with the usury laws repealed, he was able to offer loans as well, at a reasonable rate of interest.

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Inner and Middle Temple


Substantially enlarged and beautified during the Tudor period, the inner and middle Temple was described in 1596 as


". . . Those bricky towers, the which on Thames broad aged back doth ride, wherein the studious lawyers have their bowers, And whilom wont the Templar knights to bide . . .".



The inner Temple is one of the four Inns of Court around the Royal Courts of Justice in London which may call members to the Bar and so entitle them to practice as Barristers. The inner temple is a hodgepodge of buildings that stand not far from Blackfriers in an angle formed by the intersection of Temple lane and Fleet Street.


The Inner and Middle Temple occupied the same campus of buildings arraigned around the old Templar church in a series if interconnecting courtyards. Damaged heavily in the great Fire many of the building are of newer brick construction and encompass living quarters, domestic and service buildings. The most important building is the Hall which measures 12 by 24 meters. This grand oak paneled room has a raised gallery along the upper perimeter for spectators and its richly carved oak beamed ceiling is adorned with the heraldic arms of the masters of the Beanch and boasts huge silver chandeliers. The Hall is used primarily for lectures and classes as well as the main dining place for members. Other important rooms are the Library, treasury Office and Benchers Rooms all ornately decorated in rich wood panelling.

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Tower of London


A large castle with numerous famous towers that once formed the very attraction of the city of London and still does not go by unnoticed. The walls are 15 feet thick and nearly stands nearly 100 feet high in some places. Built by William the Conquerer and expanded by his descendants, the grounds include a chapel, a great hall and the Royal menagerie. The focal point is the White Tower or the keep proper, that officially still is a residence of the King although he prefers Whitehall Palace.


Many stories are attached to the Tower, not a few of them ending in mysteries and the supernatural. Like all of London the Tower has its shares of ghosts and apperations. It only builds on the buildings gruesome reputation.


Under Charles II this is the political prison of choice, with Tower Hill close by serving as a place of execution. Men were drawn and quartered. Ladies more modestly burned at the stake. The Constable of the Tower held great responsibility as did the Warden.


Riding up to it, one is greeted by massive gates which are guarded by the Kings Guards on either side. They wear the original blue red costume of the guard and are not known for their humor, being sharply trained to protect the Royal Family.


Currently, the Tower houses a few royal prisoners, the Office of Ordnance and the Crown Jewels.



With the restoration of Charles II in 1660, the Tower has been open to the paying public allowing them to marvel at new displays of animals and the Crown Jewels to celebrate the power and splendour of the restored English monarchy.


*To see prisoners, you need to RP entry at this locations. Depending on who you are visiting there may be risk or bribes involved. Please ask in your compendium if you have questions!*

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Monument to the Great Fire




This impressive new structure, found to the North of London Bridge and standing high above the streets of the city, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren to commemorate the devastating fire of '66. Built of white portland stone in the doric fashion, It was orignially intended for a statue of Charles II to stand atop the column's plinth, but King himself disapproved, pointing out that it was not he who started the fire. It was decided instead for a large urn to crown the column, blazing with flames of gold leaf which shine in the sun.


Intrepid adventurers, undeterred by dizzying heights, can climb their way right to the monument's top, thanks to a winding staircase found inside the column. The reward for their troubles is an impressive panorama of London, seen from the city's tallest viewing platform.


At the column's base, there are four walls; the Western side is decorated with a bas relief of Liberty, Justice and Science, guiding Charles II and the Duke of York as they wisely oversee the reconstruction of the city. The remaining three walls are blank, awaiting inscription, although what should be written remains of some contention.


Momument Laboratory

Rather than being a simple folly, the monument serves a purpose as a scientific instrument; the staircase provides ample space for pendulum experiments, while the urn on its top can be unhinged, allowing zenith telescopes, pointed vertically up the column's shaft, to examine the heavens.

Below the monument lies a laboratory, where scientists can study, in peace, the results of experiments conducted in the tower.

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Lokum's and The Golden Junk


From the destruction caused by the flames that had spread to Cotter Lane arose a shabby little brick building. Its sign was painted in the shape of a Chinese junk ship, painted gold, with no words at all.


From the outside, the one-story building was not much to look at, made of scorched recycled bricks, grey wood around its windowsills and door left unpainted. One might mistake the door to the Golden Junk as no entrance at all, most drawn to the door by a brocade and silk-covered window to the shop next door sharing the building, which is really an extension of the business with the plain door next to in. In fact, one can enter from the door that says 'Lokum's' on a pretty placard and walk into 'The Golden Junk' from the inside of the fancy smoke-shop which sells everything from cigars to hookahs, bathed in decorations from Constantinople and the Far East, it's floor covered in Persian rugs and walls covered in tapestries. It is, in fact, all the same business even though it would hardly seem that way to the casual observer.


Any judgments made based on The Golden Junk's shabby door in comparison to Lokum's, however, are quickly overturned upon entry to the opium den either from the street or from Lokum's. The floors and bar are made of polished cherrywood with gold edgings, bright cloth of the Orient's finest silk drapes the walls to add a bit of color to the room that is dark be it night or day. A few strategically placed candles brigthen the hazy air. A few patrons from various walks of life sit at tables drinking, playing cards, eating, or sleeping. The majority of the Golden Junk's clientelle, however, will be found in the cellar.




In a corner of the pub, next to the bar, the cellar doors are flung open, a passageway darker than the dimly lit room. The visitor walks down a pitch black stairway into the cellar, which is draped with more fine silks. Beautiful women attend to patrons, who sit on cushions around ornately designed hookahs. Thick opium smoke shrouds the lavishly decorated area. Private rooms are available but costly. Rumor has it if one gets on the good side of Mr. Lokum there are many other pleasures to be had from even those on the surface of the expansive downstairs. It is rumored Mr. Lokum has several side business of a lucrative and more secretive nature, employing an apothecary in the back of Lokum's used for more than creating exotic herbal remedies. The Golden Junk is popular for those wronged not just for the escape opium provides but for providing alternative methods of revenge.

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  • 2 months later...

Creechurch Lane Synagogue


The synagogue of the small Jewish community in London is located at Creechurch Lane, ironically leasing it from the Parish of St. Catherine Creechurch. It has recently been enlarged due to the growth of the congregation.


The synagogue’s façade is elegant, with a transom window at the doorway, a pediment, and a stoop with benches.


The main hall of worship is located at the large front room of the building’s upper floor. After being increased to 48 by 27 feet, it can now accommodate around one hundred and fifty men. The hall has wainscoting six feet high, arcaded Doric columns supporting the galleries, and a coved ceiling. The attic was converted into a gallery: the north and south galleries are occupied by women and are screened off with wooden panels of standing height. The west gallery is fitted with banisters of leaning height, and is mainly used by the poor – who were given free seats at the synagogue – or by young boys. Only the western gallery could be approached by stairs from the main hall, while the other two galleries had a separate staircase from the outside.


The synagogue is designed according to Sephardi traditions, even though it also accommodates the Ashkenazi members of the Jewish community. In the eastern end of the synagogue stands the Ark, containing the Torah scroll – a copy of the Five Books of Moses, handwritten on parchment with special calligraphy. The Ark is made of walnut, and lined with damask with fringes of silver and gold, and curtained with taffeta.

In the western end, one may find the seats of the synagogue’s wardens. In the space between stands the bimah or the tebah – an elevated platform on which the reading of the Torah is being conducted. The tebah has copper knobs at the corners, and a cover of scarlet satin with fringes of garnished silver. The tebah and the Ark are both lit by two silver candelabras, and two more are added to these during the High Holidays.

The rabbi sits in the back of the tebah, while in front of it there are seats for young boys. The rest of the men sit on benches along the north and south walls.


The prayer takes place in Hebrew. For Protestant visitors it might seem to be loud, rowdy, and uncivilized, something completely foreign to their own worship and much more choatic.The Jewish congregants in Creechurch Lane, of course, probably have a different understanding of what worship is and what it might look like.

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  • 3 years later...

Friday Street



#12 Friday Street: The Free Clinic


The house was one of many along the street built of old stone and indifferently kept until now, but the wooden lintels and door had been painted a green so fresh it was practically still wet, likewise the sign over the door declaring it to be the ''Lady O'Roarke Free Clinic' in copperplate script.


Thin linen curtains hung at the windows, closed for the sake of privacy, though the occaisional movement of people could be perceived through the cloth. During the day the door was unlocked, and a shiney brass knocker had been affixed to it and industriously polished. There was a brass slot in the door for any mail.


#16 Residence of Reverend Burnet and his wife

The parlour, a room that was decorated with a host of floral fabrics, further augmented with a good half dozen flower arrangements; one of which sat upon the centre table and was obviously still being worked upon


#18 Residence of Actors Thomas & Mary Saunderson Betterton (and house guest Anne Bracegirdle)

The door to the house opened directly into the drawing room, a long, narrow space furnished in dark woods and hung with crimson damasks and silks. The bank of windows would open to the Street, yet the thickness of the drawn draperies muffle any sound from beyond. To the right of the windows, on the west wall, is fireplace with a tapestry of a country fair above. There is a swath of royal blue cloth draping over the mantel, a wreathe of seasonal flowers gracing the center of the swathe. Against the opposite wall is a long table surrounded by several ornate chairs. An iron chandelier hangs from the ceiling to light the chamber at night, the light glinting off the polished wooden floors.


# 28 Owned by Mr Jorgensen, rented to Mr&Mrs Sisson

Mr Sisson is a clerk at the customs office. They have two sons and four daughters, the eldest, Amy (16), works for Lord Langdon as upstairs maid.


#26 Mrs Oetiker's Boarding House


#30 Apartment house

  • 1st Floor
  • 2nd Floor The door opens into a narrow corridor that opens into the apartment’s drawing room. The room is furnished simply but elegantly in shades of pale green. A bank of windows letting in prodigious amounts of sunlight on a clear day. A carved rosewood writing table is placed against the windows while a handful of straight-backed chairs, cushioned in matching shades of green, are dotted throughout the room. Along the west wall is a deep-set stone fireplace that crackles merrily at all times to ward off the cold: it is draped with a swath of royal blue velvet, a wreath of seasonal flowers gracing the center of the swathe. An iron chandelier hangs from the ceiling, the light glinting off of the polished wood floors. Silver bows and bells adorn the tiebacks of the drapes.
    To the rear of the drawing room are two doors; these open into the apartment's bedchambers.
  • 3rd Floor - Residence of the Watts family. (Mr Watts is payclerk for Hewitt & Sons Shipping)


# 32 Noted with a tarnished brass Plaque that reads "Dr Mertens'. It has a blue door with a mail slot that spewed newspapers onto it's front steps.


# 50 Chapel House owned by Jacob Alroy

This house acts as a clothing bank 3 days a week.


#62 Friday Street ‘Graying House, residence of Benjamin Daye

A well-kept five foot tall wooden fence encloses the garden of the house, a large mound of hay in a lean-to next to the gate at the back of the garden. The house itself is one of the smaller of the houses on the street. The outside is a plain but dingy white, but the house does not leak and all the doors and windows are usually kept carefully closed by sturdy locks.


The corner Tavern:

  • The " Mermaid " is sometimes described as in Friday Street and also in Cheapside . A little to the west of Bow church is Bread Street, then came a block of houses, and the next thorough-fare was Friday Street . It was in this block that the " Mermaid " was situated, and there appear to have been entrances from each street . What makes this fact still more certain is the circumstance that a haberdasher in Cheapside living "'twixt Wood Street and Milk Street," two streets on the north side opposite Bread and Friday


The Golden Pestle


The buildings stone edifice is homely and almost cottage-like in appearance, with bottle glass windows blurring what lays within.  Entering the brightly painted blue door, a tinkling bell announces the arrival of the next customer...

Within one enters a small display room, on the left shelves and counter is filled with jars and bottles of all manner of things, on the right is a stairwell, and directly ahead is a door leading to the Kitchen where Mr Paul Fallon (the fully fledged apothecarist) is busy at work.

The kitchen beyond is the largest room and the seat of much industry - essentially a room lined with tables laden with treatments in various stages of prepare, it's rafters strung with various racks with herbs of all sorts. In the center the main workbench - and at the furtherest end a large fireplace with built in oven. There is another door next to it that exits to the back alley.  

Upstairs is an office that overlooks Friday street, excessively decorated in French styles, and also a private room kept locked.


Three Churches on Friday Street:

The churches of Friday Street are St. Margaret Moses, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Matthew.


  • St. Matthew Friday Street was the smallest and cheapest of the Wren churches.
    Its plan was an irregular rectangle; George Godwin described the interior as "a plain room of most uneven shape, about 60 feet long and 30 feet broad within the walls, with a plain flat ceiling, slightly coved at the sides. There was a gallery at the west end with a small organ. The exterior walls were of brick, except for the east front, towards Friday Street, which was faced with stone.
    The east wall was unadorned at street level, but had a row of five round-headed windows with cherub-headed keystones above. The tower, in the south west corner, which was not visible from the street was the plainest of any Wren church. It was plain brick and hung one bell.
    Entrance to the church was via alleyways to the north and south.
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