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Long ago, when London Wall was new, a walled or tunnelled passage connected the postern at its northwest corner with an outlying watch-tower called Barbican, or Burhkenning, referred to by John Stow as "being placed on a high ground, and also built of some good height, was in old time as a watch-tower for the city, from whence a man might behold and view the whole city toward the south, and also into Kent, Sussex and Surrey and likewise every other way, east, north, or west." The postern was known as Cripplegate, some think as a corruption of the word "crepulgeat," Anglo-Saxon for a covered way; but believed by others to be so called because of cripples begging there. Some confirmation of the latter theory is obtained from the account of how in the year 1010, for fear of the Danes, the body of King Edmund the Martyr was brought
ROSS JP. NOTES ON THE BARBERS' HALL IN LONDON. Arch Surg. 1929;18(4):1637-1645. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1929.01140130737048