Ironmonger Lane

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Ironmonger Lane
Length 145 m (476 ft)
Location London, United Kingdom
North end Gresham Street
To Cheapside

Ironmonger Lane is a narrow one-way street in the City of London running southbound between Gresham Street and Cheapside.

It has kept the same name since at least the 12th century when it was recorded as Ysmongerlane; "isen" was a typical early London dialect variant of "iron".[1] Its name indicated that it was the location of ironmongers, but John Stow, writing at the end of the 16th century, records that the ironmongers of Ironmonger Lane and Old Jewry had already moved to Thames Street.[2]

Until the Great Fire of London in 1666, Ironmonger Lane was one of only two accesses to the Guildhall (the other being Lawrence Lane), a matter which made the travel of dignitaries difficult as two vehicles could not pass each other. The problem was alleviated after the fire when King Street was added by Christopher Wren to provide an additional access to Cheapside.[3]

Thomas Becket is said to have been born on the corner of Cheapside and Ironmonger Lane. The livery hall of the Worshipful Company of Mercers may lie on the same spot; it is a relatively modern building, the first hall having been destroyed in the Great Fire and a second in the Blitz.[4]

The nearest London Underground stations are St. Paul's (Central line) and Mansion House (Circle and District lines). The closest mainline railway stations are Cannon Street and Moorgate.


  1. ^ Eilert Ekwall, Street-Names of the City of London, Oxford, 1954, pp 115-6
  2. ^ John Stow, A Survey of London, 1603 edition (reprinted Oxford, 1908), Vol 1 p.81
  3. ^ Walter G. Bell, The Great Fire of London 1666, revised edition, 1923, p.7
  4. ^ The London Encyclopedia, ed. Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert, 1983 pp 114 and 510

51°30′52″N 0°05′31″W / 51.514400°N 0.091810°W / 51.514400; -0.091810