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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
The Devil and the Lady
Named after Lady Elizabeth Hatton and some devil dancing
Location: Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, EC1N 8SJ
Description: Bleeding Heart Yard is a cobbled courtyard off Greville Street in the Farringdon area of Holborn.
Urban legend has it that the courtyard's name commemorates the murder of Lady Elizabeth Hatton, second wife of Sir William Hatton, whose family used to own the area. It is said that her body was found here on 27 January 1626, torn limb from limb, but with her heart still pumping blood.
She was it says seen dancing with a mysterious stranger, said to be the devil!
However, Trey Philpotts of the University of Delaware writes that the courtyard is, in fact, named after a sign dating back to the Reformation that was displayed on a pub called the Bleeding Heart in nearby Charles Street. The sign showed the heart of the Virgin Mary pierced by five swords.
Either way it's one hell of a tale and deserves a visit if nothing else.
A gate at the south of the yard leads to Ely Place.
Tagged in this Tour: London