Shaft Alley was near the northwest corner of Leadenhall Street and St. Mary Axe Street in Lime Street Ward. During the eighteenth century, the alley was directly opposite East India House. Stow says that the name for the alley came from a maypole
laid [on iron hooks] along ouer the doores, and vnder the Pentises of one rowe of houses, and Alley gate, called of the shaft(Stow). As an eyewitness, Stow recounts that the alley retained its name long after the maypole was sawn into pieces and burnt following a particularly powerful sermon given at St. Paul’s Cross by Stephen, curate of St. Katherine Cree.
Shaft Alley, later known as Sharp’s Alley, is not featured on the Agas map. It should appear near the single house with a pointed roof on the north side of Leadenhall Street, just northeast of the label Lime Street Ward map (Blome). We have marked it as a point (click
- Stow, John. A Survey of London. Reprinted from the Text of 1603. Ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Reprint. British History Online. Subscription. [Kingsford edition, courtesy of The Centre for Metropolitan History. Articles written 2011 or later cite from this searchable transcription. In the in-text parenthetical reference (Stow; BHO), click on BHO to go directly to the page containing the quotation or source.]
Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)