La Tour

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Town House

There are no visible remains

NameLa Tour
Alternative NamesColdharbour; Cold Harbrough
Historic CountryLondon and Middlesex
Modern AuthorityCity and County of the City of London
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishCity Of London

_La Tour,_ a waterfront property on Upper Thames Street later to be called Coldharbour, was a building brought by Alice Perrers, a mistress of Edward III, after 1370. Alice received many gifts from a King in his dotage although she was also noted for her own exceptional business acumen. She spent considerable sum on La Tour which she extensively rebuilt. As with all her property it was seized in 1377 and was in royal or noble hands during the 15th century. An account of repairs made in 1484-5 mentions several chambers and the name suggests perhaps these chambers were in the form of suites in a tower, presumably attached to the recorded Great Hall on the riverside. This may well be the 'crenellated tower with two large windows' shown in Wyngaerde's mid 16th century Panorama.

Gatehouse Comments

'To the considerable confusion of later historians' (Emery) the name Coldharbour applied to two adjacent properties on the Thames. Sir John Pulteney property was earlier c. 1334, was the westernmost and of considerable size. This seems have been initially, at least in part residential, but became more exclusively commercial after 1408 when the name transferred to the prestigious La Tour property. Both properties may have been crenellated.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ327806
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  • Renn, Derek., 2014, 'The other towers of London' in Hidden histories and records of antiquity; essays on Saxon and medieval London for John Clark, curator emeritus, Museum of London (London and Middlesex Archaeology Society Special Paper 17) p. 32-5
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 223
  • Schofield, J., 1995, Medieval London Houses (Yale University Press) p. 217-8 No. 170 (also last paragraph of No. 169)
  • Lobel, M.D. (ed), 1989, The City of London from prehistoric times to c.1520 British Atlas of Historic Towns Vol. 3 p. 69-70 (Oxford University Press) online copy


  • Kingsford, C.L. (ed), 1908, A Survey of London, by John Stow: Reprinted from the text of 1603 Vol. 1 p. 237 online copy
  • Anthony van den Wyngaerde, c. 1543, Panorama of London online copy


  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91
  • Harding, V., 1980, London Topographical Record Vol. 24 p. 20-3
  • Honeybourne, M.B., 1965, 'The reconstructed map of London under Richard II' London Topographical Record Vol. 22 p. 49-50
  • Kingsford, C.L., 1917, 'Historical Notes on Medieval London Houses (Part 2)' London Topographical Record Vol. 11 p. 74
  • Kingsford, C.L., 1916, 'Historical Notes on Medieval London Houses (Part 1)' London Topographical Record Vol. 10 p. 94, 100