Lucraft and Luckraft One-name Study

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Hoop and Grapes

We have known for a long time that a Nicholas Lucraft was a wine merchant at some time in London, even on one record calling himself a “gent”. And we managed to track his descendants down to a family where the oldest members now live near Bournemouth.

But recent research has thrown up a wonderful court case in 1832 which has shed a lot of light on the man and his family connections. In particular it has identified where the wine merchant premises were; at 47 Aldgate High Street, and here is a picture and some of the history of the building from a pubs website. For some time it was also called the Mush Tun, which might suggest that it also brewed beer on the premises in the past.

“In 1666 the Great Fire of London swept through the City, destroying almost every building in its path. The fire blazed with such ferocity because the medieval and Tudor buildings were made of wood and tinder-dry; and so was the Hoop & Grapes, but miraculously the fire stopped just yards away. After the fire wooden buildings were forbidden in the City.

This pub is now the only surviving 17th-century timber-framed building in the City of London. At the time of the fire it was a private house and later became a wine shop. It was converted into a pub about 150 years ago. The front leans at a jaunty angle and would have fallen over had it not had extensive structural support carried out in the 1980's.

The front part is original and has some interesting features. The blocked up cellar entrance is said to lead to the Tower, probably more a tall story than a long one. The rear has been opened out into a large bar and dining area. There is a good selection of real ales and the food is reasonably priced”.


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