Aldermanbury is the Saxon name for ’Eldermen’ (elder statesmen) and ’bury’ (house).
Aldermanbury originally ran north-south, between Lad Lane in the south and Love Lane
in the north and parallel between Wood Street
in the west and Basinghall Street
in the east. The street dates back to the time of Edward the Confessor. Its current length is curtailed compared with former times.
The London historian Stow believed that the first Guildhall stood on the east side of Aldermanbury; thus the street received its name as being adjacent to the bury or court of the aldermen of the city (Harben). At the time of Stow’s Survey, however, the Guildhall had been relocated to the corner of Basinghall Street
and Cateaton Street.
The Reverend Thomas White (c.1550 - 1624), Vicar of St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street, left £3000 in his will “for the acquisition of a house for the making of a College of Ministers, Rectors (Readers) and Curates within the City of London and the suburbs of the same." Sion College hall was built at the corner of London Wall
, Aldermanbury and Philip Lane - a place with bedrooms that could be occupied by clergy and students, a gate and a turret, and a garden with trees, damsons and gooseberries.
First mentioned in Royal property rolls back in 1181, the St Mary Aldermanbury
church has existed in many different forms over its history. Destroyed in 1666 during the Great Fire of London, one of the most famous architects of the age – Christopher Wren – accepted the task of rebuilding the church and making it better than ever. Wren didn’t disappoint, delivering a beautiful structure that survived for nearly four-hundred years.
The Blitz caused extensive damage to the church, completely gutting the structure. In the 1960s the remains were shipped to Fulton, Missouri and rebuilt as a memorial to Winston Churchill.