This is a relatively new addition to the streets of London, being a result of post-war clearance, and some recent upgrades.
In fact, it’s name is also new, as it never had one, being simply the “St Botolph Street pedestrian thoroughfare”
The alley runs between Aldgate tube station and an early 1970s office block by Fitzroy Robinson & Partners Architects called Aldgate House. It occupies land that was a cluster of small shops, offices and warehouses but were cleared when the road gyratory was built in the 1960s.
As part of the land clearance, as was fitting for the thinking of the time, a large number of subways were built around Aldgate, and this alley used to be a slope running from from Aldgate High Street to the back of the station, where an entrance to a subway used to be.
All the public subways have recently been filled in as part of a wider revamping of the area to make it more pedestrian friendly.
As a result, what had been almost a dead-end alley leading to the subway was leveled off and opened up and now provides a far more convenient route for people using the station but needing to get to the other streets behind it.
In just the past few months, the alley finally gained a name, Blue Boar Alley.
As it happens, the alley is roughly in line with an older alley that predates the arrival of the railway, White Bear Alley,
Someone in the City of London prefers blue boars over white bears, but the naming is not accidental, as at least by 1685 there used to be an important coaching inn, the Blue Boar Inn next to the alley — but was demolished when the railway arrived.
So this newest of alleys is named after one of London’s oldest pubs.
Location map and local interesting places
- 1] Blue Boar Alley
- 2] Little Somerset Street, E1
- 3] Golden Fleece Court
- 4] Sugar Bakers Court, EC3
- 5] Hartshorn Alley, EC3
- 6] Barbon Alley, EC3
- 7] Gunthorpe Street, E1
- 8] Cock Hill, E1
- 9] Artillery Passage
- 10] White Rose Court
- 11] French Ordinary Court
- 12] Parliament Court
- 13] Rose Alley, EC2
- 14] Star Alley
- 15] Whitechurch Passage, E1
- 16] Catherine Wheel Alley, E1
- 19] Aldgate Pump