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Castle; and the arches and pillars, which are of stone, exhibit as skilful masonry as is to be met with in the present age of refinement.

The crypt to be next mentioned, forms part of the cellarage of the large linen-draper's shop, which stands at the corner of Leadenhall and Gracechurch streets, opposite the entrance to Cornhill. The Gentleman's Magazine, many years since, published a print of this; from which it appears to have been a fine stone-vaulted edifice, supported by pillars, and divided into aisles: but both its original extent and form are now difficult to be ascertained, from its having been greatly curtailed, and otherwise materially altered. It is still, how ever, a very curious architectural fragment.

It has been doubted whether the buildings mentioned, and others at present subterranean, were originally such, or whether they have not so become through the vast rise of the ground surrounding them, which it is supposed máy have accumulated from the many destructive fires that occurred in London in early times;particularly that recorded to have taken place. in 1136, which began in the house of one Ailward, near London Stone, and destroyed all the houses east to Aldgate, and west to St. Erkenwald's shrine in St. Paul's Cathedral, together with London Bridge, which was then

constructed of wood. And this conjecture seems to gather weight from a circumstance mentioned by Stowe.-Namely, that, near Billiter Lane and Lime Street, three new houses being to be built, in 1590, in a place where was a large garden plot, enclosed from the street by a high brick wall, on pulling down this wall and digging for cellarage, another wall was found directly under it, with an arched gateway of stone, and remains of gates closing in the midst towards the street. The timber of these gates was consumed, but the hinges of iron remained attached to their staples on both sides; besides which, there were square windows in the wall, with bars of iron on each side the entrance. The wall was above two fathoms under ground, and was supposed by Stowe to be one of the remains of the conflagration just mentioned. An arched room, ten feet square, and eight deep, was afterwards discovered near the same spot, with several arched door-ways round it stopped up with earth. Still, though the supposition be correct, that some crypts of the religious character, and of very early date, have become subterranean through the accumulation of soil derived from such causes, the idea will not apply generally, as the mansion of the Priors of Lewes stood over the chapel described almost within me

mory, and the architecture of this chapel is of as remote a date as the Norman times; whereas the two crypts last noticed are in the (later) pointed style. It seems fair to infer, therefore, that both these, like the first, were oratories, belonging to some considerable mansions of which we have now no account.

But besides crypts for devotional purposes, there are others yet existing in the metropolis of a different character, and which, from the uses they are known to have been applied to, might be termed cellars, but that their size, and the beauty and regularity of their construction, forbid so humble an appellation. The crypt of this kind beneath Crosby House, in Bishop'sgate Street, is perhaps one of the most complete, extensive, and beautiful, now in being. It consists of a central vault, (supporting the hall,) fifty-four feet long, and twenty-seven broad, with wings, shorter, but of a correspondent breadth; and a line of vaulting at the south end, running nearly to the new City of London. Tavern. The whole is constructed of stone, without pillars, and terminates at top in a fine flat-pointed arch. These vaults were undoubtedly built with the house, and were depositories for the vast quantities of merchandise belonging to its founder, Sir John Crosby, who was a grocer and woolman in the reign of Edward

IV., and of such great wealth, that his mansion, style of living, and bequests, were altogether princely.

In point of magnitude and elegance, the next most important crypt of this description, is that well-known one beneath Gerrard's Hall, in Basing Lane. This is supported by sixteen pillars, which divide it into aisles; but, having been frequently engraved, it needs not a more particular mention. The house over it, now Gerrard's Hall Inn and Tavern, was inhabited by Sir John Gison, Lord Mayor in 1245, and is said by Stowe to have been built over these arched vaults, of stone brought from Caen in Normandy; which makes it probable that its foundation took place not long after the Conquest. The vaults are at present used as winecellars.

Another fine Crypt, but whether originally appropriated to religious or domestic uses is not known, stands partly under the house formerly Bloxam's banking house, in Gracechurch Street, and partly under an adjoining seed-shop. Above this, in ancient times, stood the town mansion of the Earl of Ferrers, which was afterwards converted into the George Inn. The original form and dimensions of this Crypt cannot now be ascertained; but from the

description of mansion it once supported, it was probably large.

Several other mutilated portions of crypts. remain in different parts of London; but as they contain little worthy notice, their enumeration would prove uninteresting.

(To be continued.)

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