quinta-feira, agosto 21
Covent Garden, St Paul
A settlement has existed in the area since the Roman times of Londinium.
"Convent Garden" (later becoming Covent Garden as we know it today) was the name given, during the reign of King John (1199–1216), to a 40-acre (16 ha) patch in the county of Middlesex, bordered west and east by what is now St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane, and north and south by Floral Street and a line drawn from Chandos Place, along Maiden Lane and Exeter Street to the Aldwych.
A street performer in front of the MarketIn this quadrangle the Abbey or Convent of St. Peter, Westminster, maintained a large kitchen garden throughout the Middle Ages to provide its daily food. Over the next three centuries, the monks' old "convent garden" became a major source of fruit and vegetables in London and was managed by a succession of leaseholders by grant from the Abbot of Westminster.
This type of lease eventually led to property disputes throughout the kingdom, which Henry VIII solved in 1540 by the stroke of a pen when he dissolved the monasteries and appropriated their land.
King Henry VIII granted part of the land to Baron Russell, Lord High Admiral and, later, Earl of Bedford. In fulfilment of his father's dying wish, King Edward VI bestowed the remainder of the convent garden in 1547 to his maternal uncle, Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset who began building Somerset House on the south side of Strand the next year. When Seymour was beheaded for treason in 1552, the land once again came into royal gift, and was awarded four months later to one of those who had contributed to Seymour's downfall. Forty acres (16 ha), known as "le Covent Garden" plus "the long acre", were granted by royal patent in perpetuity to the Earl of Bedford.
And people dancing in the square ... people looking to them ... colours and faces from everywhere.
In 1631 Inigo Jones was commissioned by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford to design a church. Work on the church began that year and was completed in 1633.
In 1645 Covent Garden was made a separate parish and the church was dedicated to St Paul.
" (... )may we who declare our faith
in this foutain of love and mercy
drink from it the water of everlasting life (...)"