Visitors to the City of London (London’s main financial district) will be accustomed to the glass-fronted homes of high finance and over-priced coffee. They may well have also come across the interestingly named ‘Trump Street’ and thought it to be a nod to our friends over the pond. They would however be wrong!
I recently came across this informative article written by Katie Wignall on the ‘Look Up London’ website:
But despite this street’s uncanny resemblance to the US President, it actually dates from the early 18th century, before America even became an official country.
SO WHAT’S THE STORY?
It sits just off Cheapside, the market centre of Medieval London, which is littered with street names hinting at their historic function; Milk Street (for dairy products), Poultry (for buying chickens), Bread Street (you get the idea) and – just to catch you out – Cannon Street, which was originally Candlewick Street and the home of candle makers, not canons.
The first record of Trump Street is mentioned on this map of London by Rocque dating from 1746
More solid information comes from HT Riley’s 1868 work; ‘Memorials of London and London Life in 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries.’
Riley talks about a Mr William Trompeor (a trumpet-maker) and says “The persons who followed this trade mostly lived, in all probability, in Trump Street … near the Guildhall.”
He also says the trumpets were usually made for the nearby watchmen, who guarded the City and who might need to sound the alarm for intruders trying to breach the *ahem* large City of London walls.
Later historians seem to agree with Trump Street being the home of Trumpet makers; Pevsner’s City of London Architectural Guide (published 1997) also notes an inn called ‘The Trumpeter’ used to stand on Lawrence Lane which “is thought to be commemorated in the post-fire Trump Street.”
So there you have it. Trump Street = Former Trumpet Maker’s Street.
IT GETS WEIRDER…
To really hammer home that truth is stranger than fiction, Trump Street leads onto Russia Row. It’s name is also trade-related, probably a reference to the ‘Muscovy’ or ‘Russia’ Trading Company established near here in 1555.
Find Trump Street here. “
Many thanks to Katie Wignall for her permission to republish this article and images. To view the original article, and to find out more about London’s hidden corners, please visit lookup.london