Fishy business at Westminster...
By FOURDRINIER, C[harles] , 1761

A Plan of Part of the Ancient City of Westminster from College Street to Whitehall, and from the Thames to St. James’s Park, in which are laid down all the New Streets that have been built & other alterations made since the Building of Westminster Bridge.

British Isles London
  • Author: FOURDRINIER, C[harles]
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Published according to act of Parliament by C. Fourdrinier & Co. at Charing Cross
  • Publication date: Jan. 1761.
  • Physical description: Separately issued engraved plan, key to old and new buildings, a few nicks and tears skilfully repaired.
  • Dimensions: 550 by 770mm (21.75 by 30.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1458


The plan shows Whitehall undergoing a significant amount of change, with new buildings marked in dark grey and old in light grey. Much of Parliament Street, Great George Street, and Abingdon Street is new. Along Whitehall, Downing Street is clearly marked with the new Treasury building facing on to Horse Guards Parade. Next to the Treasury is a building marked ‘Sir Matthew Featherstones’. Now known as Dover House and home to the Scotland Office, it was originally designed by James Pine in the 1750s for Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh. Westminster Abbey boasts its Neo-Gothic West Towers, constructed by Nicholas Hawksmoor between 1722 and 1745.

Westminster Bridge, noted as “The New Bridge” on this map, had recently been completed. After years of opposition, the construction of the bridge finally received Parliamentary approval in 1736 and was built between 1739-1750. Just next to the Bridge can be seen a fish market and Fish Market street. This was a relevantly recent addition, as in 1749, an act was passed “for making a free Market for the sale of fish in Westminster”, as the inhabitants of Westminster had “long laboured under the want of a fish-market, and complained that the price of this species of provision was kept up at an exorbitant rate by the fraudulent combination of a few dealers, who engrossed the whole market of Billingsgate…” (The History of England, vol. 6, p.65).