18 November 2014

Stonecutter Street – AKA Treecutter Street

Earlier this year I was on my way to one of the monthly London Historians get togethers in the Hoop & Grapes on Farringdon Street when I stopped in my tracks at the end of Stonecutter Street.
A whole row of trees, I think there were eight of them, had been hacked down to thigh level in the name of progress.

The stumps ranged in diameter from 8 inches at the Shoe Lane end of the road to about 30 inches at the Farringdon Street end. Thirty inches – that's an OLD tree, that is. So sad. And I very much doubt that the development going up behind the blue hoardings will 'live' to be as old as the some of those bigger trees.
The stumps have probably been removed completely by now.
The area, bordered by Holborn Circus, Fetter Lane, Fleet St and Farringdon Street is full of evocative street names such as Printer Street, Wine Office Court, and, of course Stonecutter Street and Shoe Lane, all hinting at the trades that used to be predominant in those roads. But over the past 20 years or so I have watched as the whole area has changed considerably – it now bears scant resemblance to how I remember it when part of my first job as a junior in an advertising and design company back in the 80s was to deliver packages containing finished artwork to the newspapers and magazines in the vicinity.
A stone cutter's throw away, hidden amongst the modern buildings you can find Dr Johnson's House and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub where Johnson and Boswell would have enjoyed a few chats, drinks and smokes. I wonder what they would have to say about the rush of change that has happened in the past two decades?

1 comment:

  1. That is such a terrible shame, especially in an area of London with so few trees. Well done for recording it. Nicola


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