Aldgate was one of the massive gates which defended the City from Roman times until 1760.
Little Somerset Street is one of the streets of London in the E1 postal area.
Stow wrote in his Survey of London of 1598 that ’It hath had two pair of gates, though now but one; the hooks remaineth yet. Also there hath been two port-closes; the one of them remai
The gate stood at the corner of the modern Duke’s Place and was always an obstacle to traffic. It was rebuilt between 1108–47, again in 1215, and reconstructed completely between 1607-09. The gate was finally removed in 1761; it was temporarily re-erected at Bethnal Green.
While he was a customs official, from 1374 until 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer occupied apartments above the gate. The Augustinians priory of Holy Trinity Aldgate
was founded by Matilda, the wife of King Henry I, in 1108, on ground just inside the gate.
ward, Jews settled from 1181, until their expulsion in 1290 by King Edward I. The area became known as Old Jewry
. Jews were welcomed back by Oliver Cromwell, and once again they settled in the area, founding London’s oldest synagogue at Bevis Marks
’s junction with Leadenhall Street
and Fenchurch Street
is the site of the old Aldgate
Pump. From 1700 it was from this point that distances were measured into the counties of Essex and Middlesex. The original pump was taken down in 1876, and a ’faux’ pump and drinking fountain was erected several yards to the west of the original; it was supplied by water from the New River. In ancient deeds, Alegate Well is mentioned, adjoining the City wall, and this may have been the source (of water) for the original pump. A section of the remains of Holy Trinity Priory can be seen through a window in a nearby office block, on the north side.
The area around the large traffic roundabout to the east of where the gate stood is also often referred to as Aldgate
(although strictly, this is Aldgate
High Street, and extends a short distance into Whitechapel
; it is also known occasionally by the epithet ’Gardiners’ Corner’, in honour of a long-disappeared department store).
underground station was opened on 18 November 1876 with the southbound extension to Tower Hill
opening on 25 September 1882, completing the (Inner) Circle. Services from Aldgate
originally ran far further west than they do now, reaching as far as Richmond, and trains also used to run from Aldgate
to Hammersmith (the Hammersmith & City line now bypasses the station). It became the terminus of the Metropolitan line only in 1941. Before that, Metropolitan trains had continued on to the southern termini of the East London Line.
Platforms 1 and 4 at Aldgate
are the only two platforms on the network to be served exclusively by the Circle line.