History Magazine

53 Fleet Street

By Carolineld @carolineld
53 Fleet StreetTonight I'll be in Fleet Street to meet other London Historians at the Olde Cheshire Cheese. I'll enjoy the walk there, as the road is rich with all sorts of history, not least that of the newspaper and printing industries.
Number 53 is quite an eye-catcher, at least above the ground floor. This exuberant Edwardian building is now home to a mobile phone shop, but has roots in a rather older medium. In 1760, publisher Robert Sayer moved his shop here. He not only sold prints and maps, but also employed a number of engravers to produce them in a manufactory across the road in Bolt Court. Sayer was succeeded by his former assistants Laurie & Whittle; the shop persisted here under the Laurie name until 1895, when it moved to Minories.
As for its twentieth-century incarnation, Pevsner has little to say except to describe the new building as 'a bizarre Flamboyant Gothic confection'. It's certainly hard to disagree with that!

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