Explore the locations

Most of the events in the story take place in Southwark: The Cross Bones burial ground, Star court in Mint Street (referred to at the time as 'The Mint', ) Red Cross Street (now Red Cross Way) Bank End Quay, St Thomas's Hospital. Many of these locations survive, though the appearance is of course utterly changed. 
  The Cross Bones burial ground was notorious for both overcrowding and body snatching; for more information on this location click here.
   St Thomas' Hospital dates from the 12th century, and at the time of the story was located in St Thomas' Street Southwark.  it moved to its present site upriver in the middle of the nineteeth century, when the original site was required for railway building. This website has an excellent account of its history:

In 1956 remains one one of the original operating theatres was discovered in the roof space of St Thomas' church, originally part of the hospital. This has now become a wonderful, if little known, day out in London: details at

The Workhouse mentioned in the story was situated at the end of Mint Street, and was founded in 1729. It's history, including a photograph before it was demolished, can be found here:


The Iron Bridge (properly 'Queen Street Bridge')  was opened in 1819.  It was replaced by a new bridge in 1921 and renamed Southwark Bridge.

Drury Lane

No 101 was at the south end of Drury Lane, and was lost when Aldwych was created in the early 20th century. It was the home of the distinguished surgeon and Sanitary reformer George Alfred Walker (1803 - 1879). In 1839 he published Gatherings from Graveyards, an account of the appalling state of the London Burial grounds.  The Tavistock ground, where poor Ernie was buried, still exists.  It was a poor ground for the parish of St Martin in the Fields, and was Dickens' model for the burial ground in Bleak House.  It is now a children's playground. 

Horwood's map of London, 1799 - 1819
Key: 1. The Cross Bones Burial Ground 2. Star Court, Mint Street. 3. The workhouse.


  Read Chapter 1                   Why snatch bodies?                             Real people, real events                   Read  the rest        

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