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Potters Field

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Tuesday 13 September 2005 9.53pm
I was reading the news here at SE1 and an item caught my eye. "Potters Fields Park revamp backed by Mayor" in the article there is a reference "Delft patterned seating will be located on the new riverside walkway - a reference to the potters of Potters Fields"
i believe that "Potters Field" is a generic name for any graveyard where the impoverished and/or anonymous are buried. Many cities had them -- and still do, although the term is rarely used today. The name is a biblical reference to the story of Judas Iscariot receiving thirty pieces of silver for betraying Jesus, which he threw back into the temple in remorse. The temple priests supposedly used the silver to buy a nearby potter's field to bury the dead of Jerusalem.
Were there ever any Potters here or another Ken invention?
Tuesday 13 September 2005 10.19pm
From the Potters Fields Park consultation website:

In the immediate Locale two delftware potteries existed for certain, one under the larger GLA site at the end of what was once Stoney Lane (Pickleherring pottery, est c.1618), the other on Horsleydown Lane, now directly east of the south approach road to Tower Bridge (Horsleydown pottery, est. 1723). It appears certain that the Horsleydown pottery replaced Picleherring as all trade ceased at the latter at the same time.
Whilst there is no concrete proof of the existence of a pottery on the site of Potters Fields Park itself, there is some evidence to suggest that a third pottery may have been established by potters from the Pickleherring pottery at or nearby the Still Stairs, at the north western tip of the site and GLA building footprint.

An archaeological survey of Potters Fields, carried out in 1965, found 2 tonnes of assorted delftware- most likely a kiln dump from either Pickleherring or the speculative third pottery. The preliminary report from this excavation was published soon thereafter, though since a full report has never been published the full extents of this survey are yet to be determined.

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Wednesday 14 September 2005 8.56am
Ken can be blamed for many things, however naming this park isn't one of them. It's a common misconception that City Hall is his building to his design. The Government Office for London chose the architect and commissioned the building.

If you go to the south end of Potter's Field you'll see gravestones lined up against the wall. That area used to be a graveyard for St. Olave's, which I believe was situated close to the original London Bridge, on the south side of course. That's now been replaced by St. Olave's House.

The history, as written up on the Potter's Field Park website, is really good. I'm delighted to find such an exhaustive account.
Wednesday 14 September 2005 4.09pm
Bit puzzled by the reference to:
"It remained in the parish of St Olave until the early 1790s when it was passed over to St Johns, which itself had been established in the early 1700s south of Fair Street and survives today" - presumably they mean St John Horselydown - bombed in the war and now the site of London City Mission.

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