This is an alley with a very grand entrance that leads to a tiny dead end back passage that seems at first glance quite insignificant.
Although there are traces of a Roman pavement underneath the alley found in 1843, its current history cannot be traced back much further than the 15th century.
At the time, all was fields, with the roads starting to be lined with buildings, and the area behind slowly filling in. As the fields vanished under brick, alleys were needed to reach deeper into the blocks for access.
This alley first shows up as an unmarked lane in the Ogilby and Morgan map of 1676, leading to a garden square.
Cleared by the Great Fire of London, it was quickly rebuilt within the decade, and that’s likely when Nun Court seems to have acquired its name.
As the area developed, the garden became buildings, and the alley was stayed longer than it is today until the arrival of the street improvements that saw Moorgate Street drive through the warren of little side streets that used to dominate the area.
Today it’s a double height passage that is mainly used for access to the offices that surround either side of the alley.
The entrance is a covered way, occupied by a former bank with a classically articulated portland stone facade. What looks like an old brick wall at the rear of the court is in fact a modern facade, added in the 1980s.
There is though change happening to this old forgotten little runt of a court — it’s soon to be a full walkthrough alley once more. Planning permission for a redevelopment of the building next to it intends to open up the alley from Moorgate to Coleman Street for the first time in its history.
Location map and local interesting places
- 1] Nun Court
- 2] Coleman Street Buildings
- 3] Moorgate Place
- 4] Mason's Avenue
- 5] Great Bell Alley, EC2
- 6] Tokenhouse Yard
- 7] St Olave's Court
- 8] Prudent Passage
- 9] One Coleman Street Gardens, EC2
- 10] Bassishaw Highwalk
- 11] Aldermanbury Square, EC2
- 12] Brewers Hall Garden, EC2
- 13] St Mary Aldermanbury, EC2
- 17] Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheater
- 18] City of London Police Museum
- 19] Bank of England Museum