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Tennis Street

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Monday 7 May 2007 11.19am
For no reason other than I'm curious, does anyone know why it's called Tennis Street?
Monday 7 May 2007 11.36am
There are only 2 turnings off Newcomen Street --
Tennis Street and Bowling Green place.

I would guess that there were tennis courts and a bowling green for the use of
Guys Hospital staff in the 19th century in that area before all the flats were built. Probably a map in John Harvard might help.
Monday 7 May 2007 11.40am
I read somewhere that back in medieval times Borough High Street was a bit of a rest and recreation area for Londoners, with loads of taverns and entertainment, and behind the taverns were areas for games, which is why you have Tennis Street and Bowling Green Place.

Don't know how true this is, but it sounds plausible to me.
Monday 7 May 2007 11.48am
That makes sense then. Shakespeare might have played tennis there. I like to think he did.
Monday 7 May 2007 11.53am
According to this map Newcomen Street was called King Street in 1859.

Presumably re-named after Elizabeth Newcomen as she has a house named after her between Newcomen Street and Crosby Row.
Monday 7 May 2007 2.51pm
I'd been curious about this, too. What about another nearby street, Great Maze Pond? Does anyone know the source of that name?
Monday 7 May 2007 7.03pm
there's a thingy on the fence thingy on great maze pond that tells you about it. I've been drinking
Thursday 10 May 2007 7.01am
Elizabeth Newcomen was a wealthy elizabethan lady who out lived three husbands..and managed to hold on to her dosh! There was a small school on newcomen street ( corner of bowling green), it was a very small school, about 90 or 100 pupils. rotten uniforms though with a stupid yellow tassel hanging off the berets!
Never know why it was demolished though, it was a lovely building, dunno where english heritage was at that time. She owned quite a bit of guys hospital grounds too as i recall our principle telling us. wonder what happened to those grounds when guys rebuilt?
Thursday 10 May 2007 9.55pm
Elizabeth Newcomen was a benefactress, mostly housing, clothing and educating destitute local young women I believe. Her benefaction still survives today in the form of the Newcomen Collett Foundation, a local charity. The Guys connection I'm not familiar with, but Elizabeth Newcomen House is a nurses home for the hospital, and there is a Newcomen Clinic.

As for Tennis St and Bowling Green Place, I have wondered about those for years, seeing as I live in the crook of land between these two streets and Newcomen St. Long ago I went down to examine the wondrous collection of old maps housed at the Local Studies Library (well worth a visit) but could see no signs of any ancient sporting facilities going back through the years. Any enlightenment gratefully received.

Now as for why King St was so called, that's a whole other story....
Friday 11 May 2007 6.27am
I never knew that there was a foundation for Newcomen's. interesting because that's where i went to school, hence my comments about the stupid uniforms!
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