This is an alley in the heart of the City that likely has been around since the Great Fire of London, but seems to have left barely an echo in the historical records.

The alley takes its name, unsurprisingly, from a long lost pub, The White Horse, which first appears in Tudor times near this alley. The alley first appears in its current location in Ogilby and Morgan’s large-scale map of the city, which was rebuilt by 1676 and is called White Horse Inn.

R Horwood Map 1799

Goad’s Insurance Map from 1886 shows White Horse Yard as a curved alley surrounded mainly by a cluster of offices and small warehouses, but by the turn of the 20th century, the alley was recorded as a run down slum.

Goad’s Insurance Map 1886

Barring minor changes, not much happened to the layout of the alley until the 20th century. An alley born out of the Great Fire of London saw it cut back in size by the London Blitz as post-war rebuilding shunk the alley considerably.

The building that sits to the north of the alley, and straddles over it dates from the early 1990s and was designed by TP Bennett, replacing the post-war offices that were erected in the early 1960s for Equitable Life.

The south side is also another 1990s building, Woolgate House, which also replaced a 1960s office block of the same name.

The alley today is really just a short backyard space providing goods access to the offices around it, and a way for daylight to get into the core of the buildings. Frankly, there’s not a lot to say about it really, but at least it’s recorded in the alley archive.


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One comment
  1. Chris Rogers says:

    Don’t forget the ‘Ritual’ sculpture, 1968-69, by Antanas Braždys on the west side of Coleman Street, adjacent to Woolgate Exchange. It’s been I think moved for now due to works.

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