(O.S. 6 in. London, Sheets (a)K, (b)L.)
The Borough of Poplar includes the parishes of
All Saints, Poplar, St. Leonard, Bromley, and
St. Mary Stratford, Bow. The principal monuments are the church of St. Mary Stratford, Bow,
the Drapers' Almshouses, Bow Lane Almshouses,
215 and 217 Bow Road and Bromley Hall.
b(1) Parish Church of St. Matthias, Poplar,
was built as a chapel of Stepney about 1650–54 on
land given by the East India Company. In 1776
the chapel was largely re-built by the company.
The chancel was built and the whole building
much altered in 1875, when the body of the church
was refaced with stone. There are now no ancient
features visible except three posts of the N. arcade
and four of the S. arcade, all of which are of timber,
said to be teak and may be original.
Fittings—Brass Indent: In churchyard—S.W. of
the church, of rectangular plate. Monument: In
churchyard—W. of church, to Captain William
Curtis, 1669, plain table-tomb, slab with gadrooned
edges. Plate: includes flagon and paten of 1681
and a similar paten with defaced date-mark and the
arms of the East India Company on the foot.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(2) Parish Church of St. Mary, Bromley, was
entirely re-built in 1842–3, except for small fragments said to have been incorporated in the eastern
angles of the existing nave. The 'Norman' arch
at the W. end is said to be on the site and to be a
copy of a 12th-century arch found at the re-building. The old church was that attached to a
priory of Benedictine Nuns, founded, according to
Leland, by William, Bishop of London, temp.
William I, and dedicated to St. Leonard.
Fittings—Brass and Indent. Brass: On chancel
step—achievement of the arms of Topsfield, part
of former brass to Henry Topsfield, 1557. Indent:
In tower—of two figures, shields and marginal
inscription. Chairs: In tower—two (Plate 47),
with carved backs, turned posts, scrolled legs, carved
arms and stretchers, possibly late 17th-century.
Monuments: In nave—on S. wall, (1) of Sir John
Jacob, 1629, marble wall-monument (Plate 102) with
kneeling figures of man and wife at prayer-desk,
divided and flanked by Corinthian columns supporting entablatures, and finished with a cornice,
pediment, one achievement and two cartouches-of-arms; arched recesses at back of figures and,
on base, five shields-of-arms. In N. aisle—on
N. wall, (2) to Captain Sir Richard Munden,
1680, marble wall-monument flanked by enriched
pilasters supporting a segmental pediment and
achievement-of-arms; (3) of William Ferrers, 1625,
and Jane (van Lore) his wife, alabaster and marble
wall-monument (Plate 102) with painted half-length
figures of man and wife under round enriched
arches, flanked by Corinthian columns supporting
an entablature, broken pediment and centre-piece
with achievement and cartouche-of-arms, below
main figures, recumbent figure of child, and base
with shield-of-arms; (4) to Sir John Roberts, Bart.,
1692, and Margery (Amy) his wife, 1690, white and
black marble wall-monument (Plate 93) consisting
of niche enclosing urn flanked by two angels and
surmounted by cartouche-of-arms, the whole
flanked by Composite twisted columns, supporting
a curved pediment, urn and drapery; on W. wall,
(5) to Sir William Benson, 1712, and Martha Benson, 1722, white and black marble wall-monument,
consisting of niche with urn and cherubs, flanked by
pilasters supporting an ogee-shaped pediment, in
front of urn a kneeling skeleton holding a cartouche-of-arms. In churchyard—N.W. of nave,
(6) to Philip Starkey, 1677, table-tomb, with
shaped and carved base and moulded slab. Plate:
includes two flagons of 1708, given in 1709, late
16th-century cup of Nuremburg make, given 1617;
paten dated the same year, stand-paten of 1635,
dated the same year and alms-dish of 1701, given
by Lady Benson. Reredos: now in St. Andrew's
Mission-church, Gurley Street—moulded and enriched middle panel with the Decalogue, panels
with carving below and carved capping above;
side panels with Lord's Prayer and Creed and a
bolection-moulded panel below each, late 17th-century.
b(3) Parish Church of St. Mary Stratford,
Bow, stands on an 'island' in Bow Road. The
walls are of ragstone rubble, partly squared, with
limestone dressings, and the roofs are covered with
tiles and lead. The church was first built by
licence of Bishop Baldock in 1311, as a chapel of
ease to Stepney, but has been so extensively restored
that its architectural history is largely obscured.
The width of the aisles and the form of some of
the arches would seem to indicate that the greater
part of the existing building dates from early in the
14th century. The nave was perhaps extended
westwards in the 15th century and the West
Tower added at the same time. About 1700 a
North Vestry was added and in 1794 the South
Aisle was practically re-built. In 1829 the upper
part of the tower fell and was re-built. The
church was completely restored in 1899 and the
outer N. Vestry, the Organ Chamber and the E.
bay of the S. arcade are modern.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by
18½ ft.) has a modern E. window. In the N. wall
is a modern window and further W. a doorway
with hollow-chamfered jambs and flat four-centred head of doubtful antiquity. In the S. wall
is a modern window with a two-centred rear-arch,
perhaps of the 14th century, and further W. an
early 16th-century doorway with chamfered
jambs and four-centred head; the arch to the
organ-chamber, forming the E. bay of the S.
arcade, is modern.
The Nave (75 ft. by 19½ ft.) is structurally
undivided from the chancel and has N. and S.
arcades both of six bays, increasing in width from
E. to W.; the arches are of two chamfered orders,
except the western arch on the S. which has
hollow-chamfered orders; except for this arch and
the four westernmost in the N. arcade all the arches
have been completely restored and the two eastern
arches on the N. have certainly been re-built; the
form of the arches varies, the two westernmost on
each side being four-centred and representing the
later addition, and the others two-centred and
representing the original work; all the octagonal
piers and responds are modern or completely
restored, except the W. respond of the N. arcade
which has a 14th-century moulded capital,
perhaps reset. The clearstorey has on each side
three restored windows each of three cinquefoiled
lights in a square head.
The North and South Aisles have no ancient
The West Tower (13 ft. by 12 ft.) is of three stages
(Plate 41), the two lower of the 15th century
and the top stage modern. The tower-arch is
two-centred and of three moulded orders, the two
outer continuous on the E. face and the inner
resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals
and bases. The W. window is of four cinquefoiled
lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head
with a restored label; below it is the W. doorway
with moulded and shafted jambs and four-centred
arch in a square head with defaced spandrels
and defaced label. The second stage has, in the
N., S., and W. walls, a window, all restored except
parts of the moulded reveals.
The Roof of the chancel is of two bays and
incorporates a moulded tie-beam and moulded
wall-plate on the N. side, both probably of the 15th
century. The roof of the nave is of trussed rafter
type and retains some old timbers; the wallplates are moulded and dentilled.
Fittings—Brass: See monument (6). Communion Tables: In S. aisle (Plate 101)—with
deep cornice, supported on four Doric columns;
between the end columns and under the middle
of the table is a round-headed arcade resting on
smaller columns, c. 1630. In vestry (Plate 101)
—of oak with inlaid top, moulded edges and
legs composed of grouped twisted balusters,
standing on moulded sills with ball-feet, early
18th-century. Fonts: (1) octagonal bowl with
moulded edges, sides with quatrefoiled panels,
each enclosing a defaced rosette, stem with
cusped panels, restored, 15th-century; (2) of
marble with oval bowl with reeded ornament,
baluster-shaped stem with leaf ornament, probably
18th-century. Monuments: In chancel—on N.
wall, (1) to Thomas Jorden, , marble tablet
flanked by Ionic pilasters supporting an entablature, broken pediment and achievement-of-arms.
On S. wall, (2) to James Walker, 1712, and Dorothy
his wife, 1706, elaborate marble wall-monument
(Plate 103) with busts of man and wife, projecting
segmental cornice, drapery curtains, two cherubs,
etc. In Nave—on N. wall, (3) of Alice Coburne,
1689, large marble tablet with cornice, scrolled
pediment and bust of lady, on apron three cherubheads and lozenge-of-arms; on S. wall, (4) to Mrs.
Prisca Coburne, widow, 1701, large marble tablet,
flanked by fluted Corinthian pilasters with separate
entablatures and a pediment with lozenge-of-arms,
etc. In N. aisle—on N. wall, (5) to Thomas, son
of Edward Rust, 1704, Elizabeth wife of Edward
Rust, 1706, Edward Rust, 1724, and Stephen
Rust, 1739, plain marble tablet with capping,
shelf and apron. In S. aisle—on S. wall, (6) to
Grace (Wylford) wife of John Amcottes, 1551,
also Hamond, their son, 1551, freestone tablet
(Plate 103) in two bays with cinquefoiled
crocketed and traceried heads, shafted outer
jambs and enriched cornice, below heads two
brass shields-of-arms and brass inscription-plate.
In churchyard—N. of tower, (7) to Thomas
Salwey, 1705, flat slab with achievement-of-arms; (8) to Thomas White, A.M., Prebendary
of Lichfield and rector of Stepney, .
flat slab. Panelling: In chancel—on side walls,
moulded panelling with capping, rail and skirting,
early 18th-century. Plate: includes cup and
cover-paten of 1624, and a stand-paten given by
Prisca Coburne in 1683 with a shield-of-arms.
Parish Church of St Mary Stratford Bow
Condition—Fairly good, but walls out of plumb
and some stonework much decayed.
Bow Lane Almshouses
b(4) Bow Lane Almshouses (Plate 5) stand
on the W. side of Bow Lane, 150 yards S. of
All Saints' Church; they are of one storey only;
the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled.
The almshouses were built by Mrs. Esther Hawes
in 1686 and consist of six tenements flanking
a rectangular courtyard closed in by a wall at
the W. end and a wall and gateway at the E.
end. Each wing, consisting of three tenements,
has a hipped roof with a wooden eaves-cornice.
Each tenement has an original window with
solid frame of three lights, and the doors of four
tenements are original; they are of two moulded
panels, hung on beaded frames. The gateway
at the E. end of the courtyard has a square
head set in a recess, which also encloses a stone
tablet inscribed "These houses were built by
Mrs. Esther Hawes in the Year of our Lord 1686."
The Drapers' Almshouses
b(5) Drapers' Almshouses stand at the S. end
of Priscilla Road, 120 yards S. of Bow Road, they
are of two storeys, except the chapel; the walls
are of brick with some stone dressings and the roofs
are tiled. They were built in 1706 and consist
of a range of four tenements with a chapel in the
middle, forming a cross-wing. The N.W. front
has, in the middle, the projecting front of the
chapel; this has rusticated angles, a modillioned
cornice, which is also carried up over a high pediment; the central doorway is flanked by panelled
pilasters from which spring scrolled brackets,
carved with cherub-heads and supporting a modern
hood; flanking the doorway are round-headed
windows with rubbed-brick heads, stone key-blocks
and springers. On this front there was formerly a
cartouche, with an inscription recording that
Mr. John Edmunson, saylemaker, left an estate
to the Drapers' Company for the relief of twelve
poor people and that they built this Chapel and
Almshouses A.D. 1706. The four tenements,
flanking the chapel, have rubbed-brick dressings,
a stone plinth and a brick band between the
storeys; the eaves-cornice has been cased in or
removed. The doorways have flat hoods resting
on scrolled brackets and the doors themselves are
panelled; the windows have flush frames. The
back elevation has a band between the storeys but
no eaves-cornice; the back doors have each two
moulded panels. Inside the building, the chapel
has an original cornice and a projecting bay at the
end opposite the entrance. The tenements have
some plain panelling and battened doors.
b(6) Bromley Hall, on the E. side of Brunswick
Road, opposite the end of Venue Street, is of two
storeys with attics and cellar; the walls are of
brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built probably
early in the 16th century, but was largely remodelled c. 1700, when a single-storeyed wing was
added on the E. side. There are later additions
on the S. side. The W. front has original octagonal
buttresses of brick at the angles and an original
moulded string-course between the storeys; the
other features, including the window-openings,
with eared architraves of rubbed brick, and the
coved plaster eaves-cornice, are of c. 1700; the
doorway is of late 18th-century date. On the N.
front, the original string-course has been replaced
by a flat band and the whole front plastered; the
octagonal buttress remains at the N.E. angle and
the coved cornice is continued under the eaves.
In the middle of the front is a projection with
canted sides. Interior—On the ground floor, the
dining-room has original moulded ceiling-beams
and wall-plates and hollow-chamfered joists; the
walls are lined with 18th-century panelling, including a half-domed recess with a round head and
shelves; over the fireplace is a bolection-moulded
panel. On the first floor, there is some plain
18th-century panelling and one fireplace has some
Dutch tiles; in the bath-room a portion of an
original moulded door-frame is exposed. The
staircase to the attics has moulded string and handrail, square newel and three twisted balusters, all
of c. 1700. In the attics is an old battened door
b(7) House, Nos. 215 and 217, on the N. side of
Bow Road, 40 yards N.N.E. of St. Mary's Church,
is of three storeys with attics; the walls are partly
of brick and partly timber-framed and weather-boarded; the roofs are tiled. It was built c. 1600,
but the N. side was re-modelled c. 1700 and the S.
front is entirely modern; this front replaced an
original front with two gables, and two projecting
bay-windows with mullions and transoms.
The plaster ceiling on the first floor is noteworthy.
The Elevations have no ancient features of
interest, except three original chimney-stacks with
moulded cappings below the shafts. Interior—
On the ground floor, the S. rooms have original
moulded ceiling-beams and the S.W. room has a
cornice of c. 1700 in addition; the N. rooms have
stop-chamfered ceiling-beams. The staircase, of
c. 1700, has moulded and panelled strings, twisted
balusters and square newels; the top flight has
some later inserted balusters. On the first floor,
the S.E. room has an elaborate modelled plaster
ceiling (Plate 104) of c. 1600; it is divided into
geometrical figures by moulded bands enriched
with floral ornament; the main panels contain
wreaths with conventional flowers, etc., or strapwork designs; the minor panels have sprays of
conventional foliage and cherub-heads. In the
S.W. room are two original moulded ceilingbeams and some original panelling; the fireplace
has a moulded surround of c. 1700. In the N.E.
room is a similar fireplace, with a moulded shelf.
On the second floor are two battened doors of
The following monuments, unless otherwise
described, are of two storeys, with or without
attics, the walls are timber-framed, but often
re-faced in part with brick; the roofs are tiled;
the houses were built late in the 17th century.
Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.
b(8) House, Nos. 219 to 221, on the N. side of Bow
Road, immediately E. of (7), was built early in the
17th century, but has been re-fronted in brick,
early in the 18th century. The front has a band
between the storeys and the windows have flat
rubbed-brick heads. Inside the building, one
room, on the ground floor, has some original
moulded panelling; there is also an original
b(9) House and shop, No. 223 Bow Road,
immediately E. of (8), has a modern shop-front on
the ground floor.
b(10) House and shops, Nos. 207 to 211 Bow
Road, 10 yards W.S.W. of (7), is of three storeys,
was probably a timber-framed building but has a
modern casing of brick.
b(11) House and shop, No. 199 Bow Road,
20 yards W.S.W. of (10), is of three storeys with
attics. The front is of brick and has a moulded
band between the two upper storeys and windows
with square heads and flush frames. Inside the
building, the front room on the first floor has
moulded panelling, cornice and ceiling-beam; over
the fireplace is a bolection-moulded panel. On the
second floor one room has a moulded surround to
the fireplace and a door with bolection-moulded
panels. The upper part of the staircase is original
and has straight moulded strings and twisted
balusters. In the attics are some original doors.
b(12) House and shop, No. 179 Bow Road,
110 yards W.S.W. of (11), has a modern front.
Inside the building are some chamfered ceilingbeams.
b(13) Houses and shops, Nos. 130, 132 and 134 on
the S. side of Bow Road, 50 yards S.W. of (12).
Inside the building are some exposed ceilingbeams and an oak column, with a moulded cap,
supporting one of the beams.
b(14) Houses and shops, Nos. 136 to 146 Bow
Road, immediately E.N.E. of (13), were built,
probably, c. 1700.
b(15) Houses and shops, Nos. 164 and 166 Bow
Road, 60 yards E.N.E. of (14), are weather-boarded.
Inside the building are some exposed ceilingbeams.
b(16) House and shop, No. 168 Bow Road,
10 yards E.N.E. of (15), has a chimney-stack,
partly original and some exposed ceiling-beams.
b(17) House and shops, Nos. 174 and 176 Bow
Road, 10 yards E.N.E. of (16), are of three storeys;
the walls are of brick. The houses were built
c. 1700 and have some exposed ceiling-beams,
battened doors and fireplaces with moulded
surrounds and shelves.
b(18) House and shop, No. 186 Bow Road,
20 yards E.N.E. of (17), is of three storeys with
attics and cellars; the walls are of brick. It was
built, probably, early in the 18th century but has
High Street, Bromley.
b(19) Houses and shops, Nos. 2 to 12, on the W.
side of the street, 25 yards S. of Bow Road, have
been much altered.
b(20) Houses Nos. 62 to 90, on the S. side of the
street, E. of Edgar Road. Ten of the houses have
been re-fronted in brick and re-roofed; the others
b(21) The Vicarage, on the N. side of the street,
opposite St. Leonard's Street, is of three storeys
with cellars; the walls are of brick. It was built
early in the 18th century and altered later in the
same century. The S. front has a late 18th-century
doorway and porch; the windows are original and
have square heads and flush frames; those above
the porch are set in a slight projection with eared
heads and cornices at the floor-levels; the windowheads in this bay have shaped cutting on the face,
as have two windows flanking it on the second
floor. Inside the building, the hall is paved with
black and white marble squares, set diagonally;
the fireplace has an original moulded surround of
black marble; the walls have moulded panelling,
with an arched opening to the staircase. On the
first floor, two rooms have moulded panelling and
there is some similar panelling on the landing.
On the second floor are some original panelled
doors, and in the basement is some plain panelling
and two battened doors.
The modern building, W. of the house, stands on
High Street Poplar.
b(22) House, No. 151, on N. side of street,
110 yards E. of Woodstock Road, was built early
in the 17th century, but has been much altered.
Inside the building, several of the ground-floor
rooms have flat bands of modelled plaster round
the ceilings; in two cases these consist of moulded
bands with conventional flowers at intervals; one
border has a running ornament of conventional
flowers; one room has a plain cornice. There is a
small amount of original panelling.
b(23) Houses, Nos. 190 and 192, on the S. side
of the street, 30 yards S.E. of (22), were built early
in the 18th century; the walls are of brick.
a(24) House, No. 41, on the N. side of Pennyfields, 60 yards E. of W. India Dock Road, was
built early in the 18th century; the walls are of
brick. Inside the building is some moulded
panelling with bolection-moulded panels over the