Esoteric London

No. 879: Columbia Road, E2

Posted in Theatrical London by esotericlondon on July 11, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_8860 copy

Columbia Road, London, E2. Photo © Roger Dean 2013

Hand-Book of London. Past and Present – Peter Cunningham, 1850:

CURTAIN (The), Holywell Lane, Shoreditch. A theatre built, it is thought, in 1576, and so called from a house in Shoreditch, “commonly called the Curtayne,” and “sometime appertaining to the Priory of Haliwell now dissolved.” The name survives in Curtain-road.

“Doe you speake against those places also, whiche are made vppe and builded for such playes and enterludes, as the Theatre and Curtaine is, and other such lyke places besides.” – A Treatise against Dicing, Dancing, Plays, &c., 4to, 1577.

“And neare thereunto [Holywell Priory] are builded two publique-houses for the acting and shewe of comedies, tragedies, and histories for recreation. Whereof one is called the Courtein, the other the Theatre, both standing on the south-west side towards the field.” – Stow, ed. 1598, p. 349.

“The Curtain seems to have fallen into disuse about the commencement of the reign of Charles I., and Malone states (without citing his authority) that it was soon employed only for the exhibition of prize-fighters.” – Collier’s Annals, iii. 272

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