12 Corsham Street, Hoxton, London

The Keats family lived at 12 Craven Street (now Corsham Street), off City Road in Hoxton, when Keats was a child. There is now nothing to see but modern office buildings. (Though one is, appropriately enough, emblazoned with the message “Do What You Love”.)

The Keats Connection

Keats’ parents, Thomas and Frances Keats, lived at the Swan and Hoop Livery Stables in Moorgate when they were first married, and it is assumed that’s where Keats was born in 1795.

By 1797, however, the young family were living in their own home at 12 Craven Street in Hoxton, while Thomas rode (or walked) to work at the Swan and Hoop each day. Keats’ three younger brothers were born in Hoxton, and the youngest, Edward, died there while still a child.

In Keats’ time Craven Street was on the outskirts of London, and there were fields immediately to the north. A map of 1799 shows “Mr Champion’s Vinegar Manufactory” just to the south of the Craven Street houses.

After about five years, in 1802, the Keats family returned to live at the Swan and Hoop, to take over the business from maternal grandparents John and Alice Jennings on their retirement.

I haven’t found any specific dates on the handover of the business or the family move. However, the Bunhill Fields burial register records that Edward was “brought from Craven Street City Road” for burial on 9 December 1802.

Today

I am not sure of the history of this street. Today, there is nothing left that Keats would recognise, and “Number 12” is now part of a block-long office building.

There isn’t even a plaque to see. This is one for the completists!

Updates!

I initially identified the old Craven Street as the current Cranwood Street, but Lesley Brett kindly pointed out my mistake in the comments below.

I was delighted to be able to confirm this via the Layers of London website, and came up with the following using the 1799 map by Richard Horwood.

Map of Craven St in 1799, with Number 12 marked in red.
Horwood’s 1799 map, with 12 Craven Street marked in red.
The 1799 map overlaid with today’s map, showing that Craven is now indeed Corsham Street.

Details

  • Address: 12 Corsham Street, Hoxton, London N1
  • Tube: Old Street on the Northern line and National Rail
  • Opening hours: Not open to the public.

Links

  • Not applicable

Random

Do What You Love! I’m sure Keats would approve.
(This image and the banner are included with thanks to Google Maps.)

2 Replies to “12 Corsham Street, Hoxton, London”

  1. This is interesting but probably incorrect.

    My mother- and most of family were born and bred in Craven Street, Hoxton- just as you describe; the vinegar vats at one time belonged to Sarsons as who was the family’s landlord.
    This street is now Corsham Street not Cranwood Street. I have been there many times,
    You have also moved it into a different location. The postcode is N1, same as always. Cranwood St is in EC.

    1. Hello, Lesley! Thank you so much for this. Apologies for taking so long to get back to you, but I was writing for most of last year, and other things were put on hiatus.

      You are absolutely right, of course. I had identified Cranwood Street by looking at the old and new maps side by side, but obviously I was off. And I’ve since discovered the Layers of London site, which makes this sort of thing more a science than an art. You’ll see from the overlaid maps in my updated post that it’s perfectly obvious you were right, and I am very grateful for you pointing it out to me.

      Thanks again!

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