An alleyway exists just off Moorgate that has almost no redeeming features about it, other than it’s bland existence is fortunately, a very short one.
Great Bell Alley used to be plain Bell Alley, after the Bell Inn that stood on the corner with Coleman Street, but then Moorgate Street cut through it in 1835 and for many years, the alley crossed the mighty Moorgate Street.
It later lost the other half when the GPO opened a telegraph office on the other side, and that side was named Telegraph Street.
What’s left is this tiny runt of an alley that barely beggars the name Great that was later added. It’s barely a minor bell, let along a great one.
About the only thing of note about the old alley is that a self-taught poet, Robert Bloomfield lived there for a short period when he was working as a shoe-maker for his brother.
The current buildings appear to date from the mid 1980s.
And if I were to desperately clutch at straws for something positive to say about it, you do get a very good view of the old Natwest Tower (now Tower 42) from the alley.
Location map and local interesting places
- 1] Great Bell Alley, EC2
- 2] Mason's Avenue
- 3] Coleman Street Buildings
- 4] St Olave's Court
- 5] Prudent Passage
- 6] Pope's Head Alley
- 7] One Coleman Street Gardens, EC2
- 8] Bassishaw Highwalk
- 9] Aldermanbury Square, EC2
- 10] St Mary Aldermanbury, EC2
- 11] Brewers Hall Garden, EC2
- 12] Bank of England Museum
- 13] Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheater
- 14] City of London Police Museum
- 16] Castle Tavern sign
- 17] A stone obelisk hiding a ventilation shaft
- 18] Stone Tower outside Bloomberg Building