16 OCTOBER 1847, Page 12


LAST year, in advocating the erection of a new edifice for the safe custody of the Records, we pointed out the Rolls estate in Chan- cery Lane as a good site : if a concurrence of sanctions can be held to have settled the question, it now seems probable that such a building will be erected on that site. The proposition has re- ceived the official sanction of the Metropolitan Improvement Commissioners ; whose Sixth Report, recently issued, is devoted to the subject. Their surveyor, Mr. Pennethorne, has surveyed the ground and prepared ground-plans. According to these plans, there will be a new street from Cheapside to Endell Street, Long Acre, following the line indicated by Paternoster Row, and Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn; and the new Record Office will lie on the South side of that street. It will form two sides of a quadrangle, each about five hundred feet long ; the principal front in the new street; the other front towards the East, about the site of the present Fetter Lane, which will be replaced by a wide street; and there will be a third frontage, smaller than the other two, in Fleet Street.

The proposed street from Cheapside to Long Acre would be very useful in relieving the overcrowded traffic of Holborn and the Strand : it would thus far complete the third middle line between the great thoroughfare from Westminster and that from Oxford Street, and render the Piccadilly contribution towards, the traffic independent of those two lines.

The whole question of providing a suitable Record Office, therefore, is now narrowed to a very small point : the necessity of such a building has been affirmed by all concerned; the plan which we have described has received the sanction of the Re- cord Office, the Board of Woods and Forests, the City and the Metropolitan Commissioners: it only remains to give the neces- sary notices for introducing the requisite bill into Parliament, which must be given next month. It was on the 241 of Novem- ber 1647 that the idea of erecting a general repository for the public records was first enunciated ; and it would be a coincidence "pretty to observe" if the question were finally settled just two centuries afterwards,—a very fair allowance of time for official deliberation.