• Code 11614

LONDON (Southwark), Horsely Down. Samuel Christopher.

Æ Halfpenny. 1667.  Diameter 21mm.  * SAMVELL· CHRISTOPHER around; in centre a shield bearing the Grocers' arms.  R. * AT· HORSLY· DOWNE· 1667 around; in centre  HIS HALFE PENY  SCI in four lines.  BW 249 Norweb 4921;  Everson 622. Bought from Spink Auction no. 28, 28 April 1983 Part of lot 279.  One quarter weak due to being struck on an uneven flan, otherwise almost VF.

Horsleydown derives its name from Horse Down where horses were pastured on lush grass in the waterlogged fields.  In the middle of the 16th century there were a few buildings and gardens leading down to the river.  A fair was held there and Fair Street was originally called Horsleydown Fair Street. It is now an area of Bermondsey that centres around the foot of the southern approach to Tower Bridge.  The name is little used today, and only remembered in the ancient stairs leading to the river by Horsleydown New Stairs next to St Saviour’s Dock, and a thoroughfare called Horsleydown Lane.  The area stretched from close to where Potters Fields Park is today, along the river to St Saviour’s Dock, and extended south roughly to where the viaduct carries the railway track into London Bridge Station.

Southwark.   Although the area was settled in the Roman period when it was the lowest bridging point of the Thames the name ‘Suthriganaweorc’ is of Saxon origin and dates from the 9th century.  In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is known as ‘Sudweca’ meaning 'southern defensive work' the southern location referring to the City of London to the north, and Southwark was at the southern end of London Bridge where it had an ideal position, for not only did it lie on the main London to Canterbury road, but its position close by the Southwark end of London Bridge attracted water traffic.
The end of London Bridge, on the Southwark side, was known as Bridge-foot and was frequently visited by Pepys. 

British Tokens - 17th Century -  London  -  Southwark - Horsely Down.

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