Dyers’ Hall – History
The first documented presence of dyers habitating the banks of The Thames occured around the mid 1400’s. A letting of a Dye House in Thames St (Lower Thames St) is dated 1457 and there was known to be a concentration of Dyers in the parish of All Hallows the Less.
On the 14th September 1484, the Dyers’ Company, through trustees, were granted possession of the messuage Lez Thre Sterris with shops in front and abutting north on Thames Street and south on the bank of the water of Thames (ripam aque Thamisie).
The site is one of four contiguous properties lying to the west of the Fishmongers Hall that has been researched by the City of London Archaeological Trust. The Three Stars was sitauted on The Old Swanne (Swan Lane) between the river and what is now Angel Lane. It is marked on the 1562 AGAS map of London as Dyers Hall.
The great messuage or tenement called the Three Starreswas a venerable structure already standing in the 1460. Excavations have revealed evidence of some stone walls and an inventory of 1602 shows it had a great chamber over the hall and another chamber over the kitchen. In the great chamber was ‘one large waynescott bedsteade & the painted cloth round aboute the chamber’ as well as ‘a compting house shelved rownde about’.
By 1571 a major part of the site was Dyers’ Hall and it extended to The Thames on Dyers Hall Wharf. The property also contained the seven almshouses of the Dyers’ Company, established in 1545 and several dye ‘howses’, workhowses and afyrehowse.
A deed from 1579 tells us the property was entered by ‘a great gate’ which opened onto a yard that was shared between the occupant of the inn, the dyer and any other tenants. In 1587 further land was acquired in Dow Gate.