Goodman’s Fields Theatre

Theatre in/near Aldgate East, existed between 1727 and 1809

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Theatre · Aldgate East · E1 ·
MARCH
12
2018

Two 18th century theatres bearing the name Goodman’s Fields Theatre were located on Alie Street, Whitechapel.

The Third Goodmans Fields Theatre, Great Alie Street, London in 1801 - From
Credit: W. W. Hutchings
The first opened on 31 October 1727 in a small shop by Thomas Odell, ’Deputy Licenser of Plays’. The first play performed was George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer. Henry Fielding’s second play The Temple Beau premièred here 26 January 1730. Upon retirement, Odell passed the management on to Henry Giffard, after a sermon was preached against the theatre at St Botolph’s, Aldgate. Giffard operated the theatre until 1732. After he left, the theatre was used for a variety of acrobatic performances.

Giffard constructed a new theatre down the street designed by Edward Shepherd who also designed the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The theatre opened with Henry IV, Part I, 2 October 1732 that included actors Thomas Walker, Richard Yates and Harry Woodward. A dispute at the Drury Lane Theatre bought the actress Sarah Thurmond and her husband to the theatre. With the passing of the Licensing Act of 1737, the theatre was forced to close. Giffard rented Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre briefly and then, with various political machinations, was able to reopen Goodman’s Fields in 1740. The Winter’s Tale was produced there in 1741 for the first time in over a century. The same year David Garrick made his successful début as Richard III. He also staged plays of his own including the 1741 farce The Lying Valet. The theatre closed 27 May 1742 and did not re-open. It was pulled down in 1746, and a further theatre built on the site, this briefly showed drama before it was converted to a warehouse and burned down in 1809.

During its heyday, the poet Gray noted in a letter to a friend, that there are a dozen dukes of a night at Goodman’s Fields sometimes.

The Oxford Companion to the Theatre notes that there may have been an earlier theatre named Goodman’s Fields Theatre in the area around 1703.


xxx

The Third Goodmans Fields Theatre, Great Alie Street, London in 1801 - From
W. W. Hutchings


Jan
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My grandparents lived in Kerbela Street many years ago when they were terraced houses. My memory of the street is one long street with these strange wrought iron things outside - which I now know as boot scrapers. The house inside was fairly large, but I was a child. Loo was outside. Shame they knocked the terraces down and build a huge housing estate, but that?s progress I suppose. Does anyone know the origin of the name Kerbela?

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VIEW THE ALDGATE EAST AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE ALDGATE EAST AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE ALDGATE EAST AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE ALDGATE EAST AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE ALDGATE EAST AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

Aldgate East

In a land east of Aldgate, lies the land of Aldgate East...

The name Commercial Road had been proposed for the original Aldgate East station, which opened on 6 October 1884 as part of an eastern extension to the Metropolitan District Railway (now the District Line), some 500 feet to the west of the current station, close to the Metropolitan Railway's Aldgate station. However, when the curve to join the Metropolitan Railway from Liverpool Street was built, the curve had to be particularly sharp due to the presence of Aldgate East station, at which it needed to be straight.

As part of London Transport's 1935-1940 New Works Programme, the triangular junction at Aldgate was enlarged, to allow for a much gentler curve and to ensure that trains held on any leg of the triangle did not foul the signals and points at other places. The new Aldgate East platforms were sited almost immediately to the east of their predecessors, with one exit facing west toward the original location, and another at the east end of the new platforms.

The new eastern exit was now close enough to the next station along the line, St Mary's (Whitechapel Road), that this station could also be closed, reducing operational overhead and journey times, as the new Aldgate East had effectively replaced two earlier stations.

The new station, opened on 31 October 1938 (the earlier station closing permanently the previous night), was designed to be completely subterranean, providing a much needed pedestrian underpass to the road above. However, in order to accommodate the space needed for this, and the platforms below, the existing track required lowering by more than seven feet. To achieve this task, whilst still keeping the track open during the day, the bed underneath the track was excavated, and the track held up by a timber trestle work. Then, once excavation was complete and the new station constructed around the site, an army of over 900 workmen lowered the whole track simultaneously in one night, utilising overhead hooks to suspend the track when necessary. The hooks still remain.

District and Hammersmith and City line trains running into Aldgate East along two sides of the triangle (from Liverpool Street and from Tower Hill) pass through the site of the earlier station, most of which has been obliterated by the current junction alignment, although the extensive width and height and irregular shape of the tunnel can be observed.

Since the station was built completely under a widened road, and was built after concrete had started to be used as a construction material, the platforms have a particularly high headroom. Combined with the late 1930s style of tiling typical of the stations of the then London Passenger Transport Board, the platform area of the station presents a particularly airy and welcoming appearance, unusual on the underground at the time of construction. The tiling contains relief tiles, showing devices pertinent to London Transport and the area it served, were designed by Harold Stabler and made by the Poole Pottery.
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Maps


Central London, north east (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Central London, north east.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Cruchley's New Plan of London (1848) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cruchley's New Plan of London Shewing all the new and intended improvements to the Present Time. - Cruchley's Superior Map of London, with references to upwards of 500 Streets, Squares, Public Places & C. improved to 1848: with a compendium of all Place of Public Amusements also shewing the Railways & Stations.
G. F. Cruchley

Cary's New And Accurate Plan of London and Westminster (1818) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cary's map provides a detailed view of London. With print date of 1 January 1818, Cary's map has 27 panels arranged in 3 rows of 9 panels, each measuring approximately 6 1/2 by 10 5/8 inches. The complete map measures 32 1/8 by 59 1/2 inches. Digitising this map has involved aligning the panels into one contiguous map.
John Cary

John Rocque Map of London (1762) FREE DOWNLOAD
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured.
Chapman and Hall, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1836) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Insets: A view of the Tower from London Bridge -- A view of London from Copenhagen Fields. Includes views of facades of 25 structures "A comparison of the principal buildings of London."
Chapman and Hall, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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