The ward is named for Basinghall, the mansion house of the Bassing (or Basing) family, who were prominent in the City beginning in the 13th century. King Henry III granted Adam de Basing "certain houses in Aldermanbury and in Milk-street; the advowson of the church at Bassings hall; with other liberties and privileges". John Leake's 1667 map of the City of London refers to the ward as "Basinghall ward".
Guilds and churches
Cole's 1755 map of Bassishaw ward.
Located in this ward was a weekly cloth market, authorised by King Richard III. The coopers' guild hall was first founded in this ward in 1522, at The Swan, a public house, and, from 1547, a purpose-built hall accommodated the coopers. Their hall was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 but later rebuilt on the same site. They rebuilt again in 1865, selling a part of the site to the City of London Corporation for the expansion of the Guildhall. This hall was destroyed by fire on the night of 29 December 1940.
The masons' hall was constructed in 1463 in Mason's Avenue, a street which today forms part of the ward's southern boundary. Their hall was also sold to the Corporation in 1865. The weavers and girdlers also had their guild halls in the ward. The modern livery halls of the pewterers, salters and brewers are also located in Bassishaw.
There were two churches in this small ward, neither of which remain standing. St. Michael Bassishaw, dedicated to St. Michael, the archangel, which was founded in the 12th century. At that time, the rectorship was included in the gift of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, but, over time, it came to be associated with St. Pauls Cathedral itself. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and rebuilt in 1679. It was united with St. Lawrence Jewry in 1897; the site was sold in 1899 and the church was demolished in 1900. St. Alphage London Wall, also damaged in the Great Fire but not rebuilt until 1777, was eventually demolished in 1924.