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More from Tom Bolton

Unigate Woods

A wild piece of woodland, a reminder of the dairy that was on this site for more than 150 years and Streatham Wells, where spa water was bottled and sold.

Bollo Brook

A buried river running from Acton to Chiswick House.

Navvies Island

A lost circus district

More in United Kingdom

The Red Bull

A dance from Playford’s Dancing Master (1698) thought to have been named after the Red Bull Playhouse, an inn-yard theatre, built in 1605 in what is now Haywood’s Place. During the early part of the 17th Century, the theatre was used by the Queen’s Men, and their performances rivalled those at the Globe and the Fortune.
During the Civil War and Interregnum, when other theatres were closed or destroyed, the Red Bull remained open, offering illicit performances of jigs, drolls, rope-dancing and much more.
It was demolished during the early years of the Restoration, but its location, Red Bull Yard could still be seen on Ogilby’s map a few years later.

The Red Bull dance doesn’t appear in the Dancing Master until 1698, but the melody is thought to date from c1619.