ABOUT THE WARD
Vintry Ward is one of the 25 Wards of the City of London. It is bounded by Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Queenhithe and Cousin Lane. Vintry Ward is bordered by the Wards of Dowgate, Queenhithe, Bread Street and Cordwainer.
The Ward owes its name to its former status as a hub for the wine merchants of Bordeaux who stored and sold their wine in Vintry. Apart from the continuing existence of Vintners’ Hall and the Vintners’ Company, relatively little remains of the wine trade in the modern Ward. Vintry is now a thriving hub of commerce. The Ward has several large office complexes in Upper Thames Street, Queen Street, and Queen Victoria Street, and has a beautiful church and gardens.
Vintry Ward is home to four livery companies: The Worshipful Companies of Vintners, Carmen, Solicitors and Builders Merchants. The history of livery companies stretches back many centuries. Livery companies have their roots in the medieval trades and crafts and yet their work is as relevant today as it has ever been. They support, and in some cases still regulate, their trades. They help to educate and train young people, and they use much of their income for charitable purposes. There are now 108 companies, which vary significantly in age, origin, size and wealth. The oldest were established in the 12th century and the youngest in the 21st century. Some are still active in their original trades, others less so or not at all. Some are wealthy, others are not, but all are bound together by fellowship, charitable work, supporting trade, and working in the interests of the communities in which they operate.
The Worshipful Company of Vintners
The Vintners’ Company was established in 1364 by members of the wine trade. The Company founded the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the Institute of Masters of Wine. The Company is responsible for EU wine legislation implementation through its Wine Standards Board. The Company ranks 11th in order of precedence, and its offices are at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, London EC4V 3BG.
The Worshipful Company of Carmen
The Carmen were originally the City’s Carters dating back to 1277, becoming a guild in 1517, and prompting cab ranks and vehicle licensing. They became a livery company in 1848 and obtained a royal charter in 1946. They support the transport industry with RSA lectures, awards, RCA transport design and tri-service logistic and training links. The Company ranks 77th in order of precedence, and its offices are at Five Kings House, 1 Queen Street Place, London EC4R 1QS.
The Worshipful Company of Solicitors
The Solicitors’ Company is for those solicitors who practise or have practised in or near the City. The Company also acts as the local Law Society for the City and represents the professional interest of City solicitors. The Company ranks 79th in order of precedence, and its offices are at 4 College Hill, London EC4R 2RB.
The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
The Company of Builders Merchants is concerned with the supply of building materials, including timber, plumbing, and decorating materials. It became a livery company in 1961.The Company ranks 88th in order of precedence, and its offices are at 4 College Hill, London EC4R 2RB.
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE WARD
Although Vintners’ Hall is the only livery hall remaining in Vintry Ward, towards the end of 16th Century there were many others, for Vintry Ward was then one of the smartest corners of the City of London. Down by the river was the Vintry, a large building of stone and timber where the merchants of Bordeaux landed and stored their wines.
To the west of the Vintry was Vintners’ Hall, together with the Vintners’ company’s 13 almshouses for poor people. Leading north from the Vintry was Broad Lane, at the top of which stood the Parish Clerks’ Hall, and nearby was the Plumbers’ Hall and the Fruiterers’ Hall, all of which were subsequently demolished. Next to the Plumbers’ Hall was Worcester House belonging to the Earls of Worcester.
Vintry Ward had a number of churches: St Thomas Apostle, St Martin Beremand, Trinity Church, St Michael Paternoster founded by Dick Whittington who was later buried there, and St James Garlickhythe, so-called because this was the corner of London where “garlick” was sold. St Michael Paternoster (now within Dowgate Ward) and St James Garlickhythe are the only two churches still standing.
At the top end of Vintry Ward was Horsebridge Street, with Cutlers’ Hall in Cloak Lane behind St Michael Paternoster. Between them, in College Hill, was Turners’ Hall, sadly demolished in the 18th Century. At a later date, the Cutlers moved to Warwick Lane where they built a splendid new Hall. Near to St James Garlickhythe was Knightrider Street where there was the old Glaziers’ Hall, and next to it Ormond Place where the Earls of Ormond lived.
During this period, Vintry was a favoured part of London, where many noblemen and other wealthy people owned large houses, where there were five churches, and where seven guilds had fine halls. Of these five churches, only two still remain (although under the recently enacted boundary changes, St Michael Paternoster is now within Dowgate Ward), and of the seven guilds, the Vintners’ Company is now the only one remaining in Vintry Ward.
ST JAMES GARLICKHYTHE
The 17th century Parish church of St James Garlickhythe lies at the heart of Vintry Ward, at the southern end of Garlick Hill. The light and quiet interior of the church, also known as Wren’s Lantern, has been a sacred place since 1100 AD and provides a place of meditation and sanctuary to both City dwellers and workers of all denominations and none. The Organist and Choirmaster is Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley.
St James Garlickhythe is the guild church to a number of livery companies, including: The Worshipful Companies of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers, Clockmakers, Dyers, Fan Makers, Gardeners, Glass Sellers, Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers, Horners, Joiners & Ceilers, Needlemakers, Painter-Stainers, Skinners and Vintners.
For more information about the church please visit:
Two important gardens are within or on the edge of Vintry Ward - The Cleary Garden and The Whittington Garden.
The Cleary Garden on Queen Victoria Street and bounded by Huggin Hill was laid out by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association in the early 1980s to celebrate the centenary of the Association. It was named after Fred Cleary, Chairman of the MPGA at that time, a prominent past member of Common Council, a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and a person who was passionate about open spaces being available and maintained for all members of the public to enjoy.
The Cleary Garden was chosen by Loire Valley Wines as its legacy garden for 2007 and was an Award winner at the London in Bloom 2008 competition.
The Whittington Garden also boasts two sculptures of horsemen by the Italian sculptor Cambellotti. The works of art were gifted to the then Lord Mayor, Alderman Sir David Brewer, by the President of Italy on the occasion of his official visit to London in March 2005 (pictured right).
We are fortunate to have gardens so well maintained available to all those working in or passing through our Ward.
CITY LIVERY CLUB
The City Livery Club is located within Vintry Ward, sharing the premises and facilities of The Little Ship Club, which overlooks the Thames at Bell Wharf Lane by Southwark Bridge.
The Club was founded in 1914 and is privileged to count the Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor as Patron, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Princess Royal as Honorary Members. The Club offers a private daytime Club for Liverymen and members of related City organisations where they can meet, dine, and exchange views in comfortable premises overlooking the Thames. The Club premises are within easy walk of Bank, Mansion House and Cannon Street stations.
The Club also provides a broad programme of events both formal and informal, with various interests represented by Sections for History & Antiques, Investments, Motoring, Music, Wine, Golf, Tennis, Aeronautics, Photography, and Women in the Livery. The City Face2Face events are informal discussions with City movers and shakers followed by a lunch.
The Club has a number of reciprocal arrangements with other Clubs in the UK and abroad.
Address: Bell Wharf Lane, Upper Thames Street, London EC4R 3TB
Email: Telephone: 020 7248 0620
LITTLE SHIP CLUB
The Little Ship Club owes its formation to a letter to a yachting paper suggesting that during the winter months, then the dead season, many keen sailing people would be glad of an opportunity to get together and swap yarns. So on 5 November 1926 at the Ship Restaurant in Whitehall, 27 enthusiasts met and the Little Ship Club was formed.
The Little Ship Club offers training and cruising programmes for the sailor, power boater or aspiring sailor looking for crewing opportunities.
The Club’s cruising rallies take in UK coastal waters, the English Channel and venues much further afield including the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
For those looking for sailing opportunities as crew, and boat owners who need willing hands, the Club operates a skippers and crew network to bring them together.
The Club’s network of Honorary Port Officers, stationed around the globe, ensures that members are never far away from a helping hand or local advice. Members get access to an online directory of HPO.
Members get access to the members only area of the website which provides opportunities to communicate with other members, set up sailing opportunities, search the members directory and book securely online for club events.
For those just embarking on a sailing pastime, the Club offers RYA shorebased courses from Day Skipper to Yachtmaster Ocean and many specialised short courses to keep skippers and crew at the leading edge of boating development.
Associate Membership. With gourmet private members’ dining in our restaurant and accommodation in the Club’s cabins, the Associate Membership is appealing to non-sailors who want access to an exclusive Club in the heart of the City.
The main entrance to the club is situated on the Thames path, with easy pedestrian access from the steps at the north end of Southwark bridge (City of London bank of the Thames). Take the steps on the downstream (Tower Bridge) side of the bridge and walk approximately 15 metres, the entrance to the club is on your left.
Address: Little Ship Club, Bell Wharf Lane, Upper Thames Street, London EC4R 3TB
Telephone: 020 7236 7729
ROYAL RING OF BELLS FOR VINTRY WARD
By Alderman Dr Andrew Parmley
MUSTER ROLL & RESIDENCE
Military associations were common throughout the City, and the Vintry Ward Military Association was formed towards the end of the eighteenth century in response to the threat of invasion posed by Napoleon Bonaparte.