Tyburn, London

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Coordinates: 51°30′46.3″N 0°9′50.4″W / 51.512861°N 0.164°W / 51.512861; -0.164

Tyburn was a village in the county of Middlesex close to the current location of Marble Arch in present-day London. It took its name from the Tyburn or Teo Bourne 'boundary stream',[1] a tributary of the River Thames which is now completely covered over between its source and its outfall into the Thames.

The name was almost universally used in literature to refer to the notorious and uniquely designed gallows, used for centuries as the primary location of the execution of London criminals.



The village was one of two manors of the parish of Marylebone, which was itself named after the stream, St Marylebone being a contraction of St Mary's church by the bourne. Tyburn was recorded in the Domesday Book and stood approximately at the west end of what is now Oxford Street at the junction of two Roman roads. The predecessors of Oxford Street and Park Lane were roads leading to the village, then called Tyburn Road and Tyburn Lane respectively.

In the 1230s and 1240s the village of Tyburn was held by Gilbert de Sandford, the son of John de Sandford who had been the Chamberlain of Queen Eleanor. Eleanor had been the wife of King Henry II who encouraged her sons Henry and Richard to rebel against her husband, King Henry. In 1236 the city of London contracted with Sir Gilbert to draw water from Tyburn Springs, which he held, to serve as the source of the first piped water supply for the city. The water was supplied in lead pipes that ran from where Bond Street Station stands today, half a mile east of Hyde Park, down to the hamlet of Charing (Charing Cross), along Fleet Street and over the Fleet Bridge, climbing Ludgate Hill (by gravitational pressure) to a public conduit at Cheapside. Water was supplied for free to all comers.[2]

Tyburn had significance from ancient times and was marked by a monument known as Oswulf's Stone, which gave its name to the Ossulstone Hundred of Middlesex. The stone was covered over in 1851 when Marble Arch was moved to the area, but it was shortly afterwards unearthed and propped up against the Arch. It has not been seen since 1869.

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