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The Hackney Treasure Map

April 14, 2018
by the gentle author

Each Saturday, we shall be featuring one of Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND from the forthcoming book of his extraordinary cartography to be published by Spitalfields Life Books & Batsford on June 7th.

Please support this ambitious venture by pre-ordering a copy, which will be signed by Adam Dant with an individual drawing on the flyleaf and sent to you on publication. CLICK TO ORDER A SIGNED COPY OF MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND BY ADAM DANT

The Hackney Treasure Map was inspired by the discovery of the Hackney Hoard by Terry Castle and informed by the knowledge of Stephen Selby, the Hackney Antiquarian. Describing the pre-industrial riches of the borough, it is conveniently marked with suitable spots to dig. (Click to enlarge and study it further)

Prince Rupert’s Mill. Prince Rupert’s secret died with him – it was a composition from which indestructible cannons were cast and bored here in Hackney.

Temple Mills. Once belonging to the Knights Templars, these mills were used for grinding points on pins and needles, sent on to Worcestershire to receive eyes.

Beresford’s White House. Occasional residence of highwayman Dick Turpin, attached to the house was an extensive fishery, offering sport for one shilling.

Roman Burial Ground. Discovered under Hackney Marsh, part of the Roman stone causeway to Essex, and a marble sarcophagus at Brooksby’s Walk.

Lord Zouch’s House. A peer who sat in judgement on Mary Queen of Scots, Edward Lord Zouch amused himself with experimental gardening.

The Mermaid Tavern. 12/8/1811, Mr Sadler ascends in a balloon above Mr Holmes’ pleasure gardens, bowling greens and Hackney brook.

Sutton House. Known as “Bryck House,” it was built for Henry VIII’s courtier Ralph Sadleir who sold it to cloth merchant John Machell. The house still stands.

The Black & White House. Home of Robert Vyner, drinking partner of Charles II, its name “Bohemia Place” arising from the residence of the Queen of Bohemia.

Loddige’s Nursery. George Loddige’s forty foot palm house and orchid houses maintained tropical heat. Many of his plants and houses were removed to Crystal Palace.

Barber’s Barn. Home of the low-born John Okey, sixth signatory of Charles I’s death warrant, its grounds later cultivated by John Busch, nurseryman to Catherine II of Russia.

St John’s Place/Beaulieu. Said to have been home the priory of of St John, it later acquired the name “Shoreditch Place” after Jane Shore, lover of King Edward IV.

Brook House. Granted by Edward VI to the Earl of Pembroke, the house passed to the Earl of Warwick then to Dr Monro as a ‘recepiticle for insane persons.’

Gothic Hall. Mr Thomas Windus fitted out his house as a museum containing china, grecian pottery and six hundred drawings and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyke etc.

Shacklewell House. The ancient seat of the Herons, and residence of Cecilia, Thomas More’s daughter, later home of regicide Owen Rowe.

Abney House. Built for Thomas Gunstone to hymn writer & divine Isaac Watts’ plans. Gunstone died on its completion.

Brownswood House. The Hornsey Wood Tavern was formed out of the old Copthall and the Manor House of Brownswood. Victoria halted here in 1848.

Newington Green Manor. An area home to dissenters in the seventeenth century, Daniel Defoe unsuccessfully bred civet cats nearby.

Palatine House. Built to house protestant refugees from the Rhine Palatinate, later used as a retreat by John Wesley, friend of owner C. Greenwood.

Whitmore House. A moated house adapted by London haberdasher Sir William Whitmore for his son Sir George Whitmore.

Francies House. Built  by William Francies, a merchant tailor, in 1706, owned by the Tyssens family and leased to carpenter Richard Tillesley.

Baumes House. Built by two Spanish merchants in 1540, it became known as Sir George Whitmore’s house and in 1691 hosted King Charles I. It later was used as a madhouse.

Alderman John Brown’s House. Home of the serjeant, painter to Henry VIII.

Nag’s Head. A coaching inn and haunt of robber & highwayman Dick Turpin.

The Theatre. Home of Shakespeare & Burbage’s Lord Chamberlain’s New Acting Troupe. The timber was dismantled and used to construct the Globe.

Holywell Mount. Nearby the priory of St John the Baptist, plague burials were said to take place at Holywell Mount.

The Rectory, Hackney. Site of the Manor of Grumbolds and home of John & Jane Daniel, accused of blackmailing the Countess of Essex.

Geffrye Almshouses. Paid for by Sir Robert Geffrye in his will of 1703 which declared his remaining fortune to the Ironmongers’ Company for provision of almshouses.


Adam Dant’s MAPS OF LONDON & BEYOND is a mighty monograph collecting together all your favourite works by Spitalfields Life‘s cartographer extraordinaire in a beautiful big hardback book.

Including a map of London riots, the locations of early coffee houses and a colourful depiction of slang through the centuries, Adam Dant’s vision of city life and our prevailing obsessions with money, power and the pursuit of pleasure may genuinely be described as ‘Hogarthian.’

Unparalleled in his draughtsmanship and inventiveness, Adam Dant explores the byways of English cultural history in his ingenious drawings, annotated with erudite commentary and offering hours of fascination for the curious.

The book includes an extensive interview with Adam Dant by The Gentle Author.

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