Steelyard, Stilliarde or Stalhof
Place From 1320 To 1853
The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coasts of Northern Europe, from the 13th to the 17th century. Their trading posts were known as kontors and could become substantial sites. The London kontor was established in 1320 and grew into a separate walled community with its own warehouses, weighing house, chapel, offices and houses. It became known as the Steelyard or Stahlhof. The chapel was not large so they used nearby All Hallows the Great.
A steelyard balance was erected here to weigh the goods. We’ve read that the Steelyard acquired its name from this weighing device and also that the device got its name from its use at this site. They can’t both be true. The Hansas imported steel along with everything else so that is an alternative derivation of the name of their London base.
The Hanseatic League lost its power and influence from the late 16th century on but the Steelyard was not sold until 3 years before Cannon Street Station was built on the site in 1866.