Work and Pleydell

I was at the sweaty end of the perspiration/inspiration split today. While many of the party were debating at the Manifesto conference, we had an action day in Bunhill ward, delivering leaflets across local estates.

We had a mini-pub crawl at lunchtime after slight confusion saw one lot in the Wetherspoons on Old Street and the rest in the Litten Tree a couple of doors along, but we were soon reunited. Where would we be without mobile phones?

The names of estates and the individual houses give clues to the history of the area. The Pleydell estate has its main blocks all beginning with G: Gambier, Gastigny, Grayson, and Galway. Add in the Guinness Trust estate next door and it becomes quite a theme.

I’ve been trying to find out the origin of the names and their connection with the local area.

The excellent British History online site led me to: ‘Bethnal Green’, Old and New London: Volume 2 (1878 ) and the history of the old French Hospital in Bethnal Green.

“This establishment owes its origin to a M. de Gastigny, a French gentleman, who had been Master of the Buckhounds to William III., in Holland, while Prince of Orange. At his death, in 1708, he bequeathed a sum of £1,000 towards founding an hospital, in London, for the relief of distressed French Protestants. The money was placed at interest for eight years, during which successive benefactions were added to the fund. In 1716, a piece of ground in Old Street, St. Luke’s, was purchased of the Ironmongers’ Company, and a lease was taken from the City of London of some adjoining land, forming altogether an area of about four acres, on which a building was erected, and fitted up for the reception of eighty poor Protestants of the French nation. In 1718, George I. granted a charter of incorporation to the governor and directors of the hospital, under which the Earl of Galway was appointed the first governor.”

So that explains Gastigny and Galway. Any clues for Grayson and Gambier?

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Pleydell Estate, built in 1959–60, is dominated by two large tower blocks surrounded by landscape and garages. This is Grayson House on a late January morning. This blog has a few more details. […]

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