The best starting place to find archival sources for the history of property-holding in medieval London is: A Survey of Documentary Sources for Property Holding in London before the Great Fire, ed. D. Keene and V. Harding, London Record Society, vol. 22 (London, 1985). The editors survey documents of title (charters, deeds, copies from cartularies); documents stemming from the management of property, (rentals, surveys, accounts, and plans, among other records); and administrative and judicial records of London properties that were part of the estates of the City and Crown, including escheats, taxes, the regulation of nuisance, and disputes over ownership. On BHO.
Many of the document collections listed under Law also contain records dealing with London properties and their owners.
The Social and Economic Study of Medieval London c. 1100-1666, a project directed by Prof. Derek Keene, produced many useful materials regarding properties in medieval London. The first stage of the project constructed tenement histories for five parishes in the wealthy and central London neighborhood of Cheapside, published on BHO: D. J. Keene and Vanessa Harding, Historical Gazetteer of London Before the Great Fire Cheapside; Parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St Mary Le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane (London, 1987). In addition to providing details on the development and owners of each property, the Gazetteer contains an extensive alphabetical index of all the people mentioned in the histories from the eleventh century until the 1660s.
A second survey centered initially on St Botolph Aldgate (largely coterminous with Portsoken ward), with summaries of the chief features of the neighborhood in “Aldgate Project. Report for the Year 1 Jan.-31 Dec. 1984” (10 pp.) and “Final Report to ESRC on Stage 2 (Aldgate Project).” The main product, however, was more focused: M. Carlin, “St Botolph Aldgate Gazetteer: Holy Trinity Minories: Abey of St Clare 1293-1539; Holy Trinity Minories: 1539-1670” (1987), with introduction by D. Keene; the accompanying Indexes (129 pp. by O. Myhill) contained alphabetical lists of all persons, institutions, occupations, status, and topographical features in the study area.
The project methodology was also extended to four Walbrook parishes (St Benet Sherehog, St Mary Woolchurch, St Mildred Poultry, and St Stephen Walbrook). It produced ‘Walbrook Project. Report for the Year 1 Jan.-31 Dec 1984’ (6 pp.) and an overview of the social, economic, and topographical history of the area in a searchable pdf (22 pp.): D. Keene, D. Crouch, and J. Stedman, “The Walbrook Study: A Summary Report with Appendices,” while the Appendices (102 pp.) provides tenement histories in the block bounded by the streets now known as Poultry and Bucklersbury. The pdf ends with extensive indices of persons (by O. Myhill, 83 pp.), institutions, occupations, status, and topography (buildings and streets) in the selected histories.
A similar project on the Bank of England neighborhood was later undertaken for three parishes (St Bartholomew by the Exchange, St Christopher le Stocks, and St Margaret Lothbury). Its reports are summarized in “Interim Report on the Study of the Bank of England Area” (1988) (18 pp.).
London Possessory Assizes: A Calendar, ed. Helena M. Chew, London Record Society, 1. London, 1965. English translations of the assizes of novel disseisin (known in London as assize of fresh force) and a few cases of mort d’ancestor held before the sheriffs and coroners, 1340-1451, with individual pleas for 1317, 1380, and 1470 calendared in the appendix. Plaintiffs initiated the complaint (which could involve lands, tenements or rents) at the Monday session of the Hustings Court of Pleas, but it was heard before a jury impaneled by the sheriffs. On BHO.
London Bridge: Selected Accounts and Rentals, 1381-1538, ed. V. Harding and L. Wright, London Record Society 31 (1994). English translation of the Bridgemasters’ Account Roll for 1381-2; rentals of Bridge House properties 1404 and 1537-8; rental accounts for 1420-1, 1461-2, 1501-2, 1537-8 and 1537-8; weekly payments books for 1420-1 and 1537-8 (includes wages and expenses on the bridge and its properties), along with a glossary and introduction outlining the administrative structure, staff, work force, estates and income of London Bridge, as well as evidence on the fabric of the bridge and the language of the archival records. On BHO.
Cartularies of Two London Citizens A Calendar of the Cartularies of John Pyel and Adam Fraunceys, ed. S. J. O’Connor. Camden Society Fifth Series, 2 (London 1993). English calendar of cartularies of two wealthy merchants and mayors of late fourteenth-century London that show their land acquisitions in London and elsewhere. Includes full analysis of the careers and properties of Pyel and Fraunceys in the introduction. A digital edition is available thru subscription-based Cambridge Core of Cambridge University Press.
Cartulary of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Founded 1123: A Calendar, ed. Nellie J. M. Kerling (London, 1973). The cartulary was begun by Brother John Cok c. 1418 to record charters and deeds of properties owned by the hospital, although it also includes copies of letter patents, royal pardons, papal bulls, episcopal letters, a rental of London properties in 1456. Many of the property records in the cartulary can also be checked against the surviving deeds, a large number of which survive from an early date since the hospital was founded in 1123. Includes a useful introduction and very extensive index.
A Calendar to the Feet of Fines for London and Middlesex. Volume 1. Richard I to Richard III, ed. W. J. Hardy and W. Page (London, 1892). Prints short English abstracts with an extensive index of persons and places; also includes many properties in Westminster. On archive.org, BHO, and Google books. A final concord was a secure way to register conveyance of land since the record of the agreement was divided into three; one copy for the ‘plaintiff’ (grantor or seller), one for the ‘defendant’ (grantee or buyer), and one copy (the ‘foot’ or bottom copy on the parchment) remained in the custody of the crown. This registration protected against forgery or accidental loss, but the process—despite the expense and time it required—was also popular as a means for married women to transfer property without the risk of later accusations that she had been coerced by her husband. The legal action that initiated the conveyance was (at least from the thirteenth century) fictitious; fines could be made before an Exchequer or eyre court, but from the early fourteenth century, they were always made in the Court of Common Pleas (TNA, CP25). For a short but useful introduction, see C. Phillips “A Short Introduction to Feet of Fines,” (first published in Foundations 4 ( 2012): 45-55) and for links to the manuscript images of these London cases on AALT, see Feet of Fines: London page of the medievalgeneaology.org site.
A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds in the Public Record Office, ed. H. C. Maxwell Whyte, 5 vols. (London, 1890-1915), Vol. 1: A.1 – A.1819 (Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer); B.1 – B.1798 (Court of Augmentations); C.1 – C.1780 (Court of Chancery); vol. 2: A.1820 – A.3836 (Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer), B.1799-B.3870 (Court of Augmentations), C.1781 – C.2915 (Court of Chancery); vol. 3: A.3837 – A.6122 (Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer), B.3871 – B.4232 (Court of Augmentations), C.2916 – C.3764 (Court of Chancery), D.1 – D.1330 (Queen’s Remembrancer’s Department); vol. 4: A.6123 – A.10426 (Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer); vol. 5: A.10427 – A.13672 (Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer); vol. 6: C.3765 – A.8060 (Court of Chancery) . Gives English abstracts of medieval (mostly Latin) of the twelfth to sixteenth century, deposited in various PRO (now TNA) Exchequer and Chancery classes. London material can be located by searching the index of places in each volume (they also contain indices of names and subjects). On archive.org; also on Haithi Trust, Google Books, and BHO.
The TNA Ancient Deeds series continues in Exchequer, Augmentation Office: Ancient Deeds Series B (E 326/4233-4837) Calendar, List and Index Society 95 (London, 1973); vol 101: Ancient Deeds Series B ((E 326/4838-9000) Calendar Part II (1974); vol. 113: Ancient Deeds Series B (E 326/9001-12950), Part III (1975); vol. 124: Ancient Deeds Series B (E 326): Part IV Index (1976); vol. 151: Ancient Deeds Series A: (E 40/ 13673-15068), Descriptive List (1978); vol. 152: Ancient Deeds Series A: (E 40/ 15069-15910), Descriptive List (1979); vol. 158: Ancient Deeds (AS and WS) (E 42, E 43): List (1979); vol. 181: Ancient Deeds, Series E (LR 14) (1981); vol 200: Ancient Deeds, Series DD (E 211), 1101-1645 (1983). Volumes contain short abstracts of deeds (and a few scattered bonds and wills), including those pertaining to property in London, Southwark, and Westminster.
Abstracts of Inquisitiones Post Mortem relating to the City of London. Part I. 1 Henry VII to 3 Elizabeth, 1485-1561, ed. George S. Fry, British Record Society, Index Library 15, and London and Middlesex Archaeological Society (London, 1896). Pages 5-55 print English abstracts of inquisitions held on the death of tenant-in-chiefs of the king in London to determine the feudal rights belonging to the king; a group of jurors (named) identify the properties held by the deceased and the rightful heir, some of whom also undergo proofs of age. Held in the Guildhall, the inquisitions offer brief descriptions of the size, nature, and location of London properties held by the deceased. On BHO and archive.org.
See also the Calendar of Close Rolls and the Calendar of Patent Rolls on the National Records page.