The pump marks the start of the A11 road towards Norwich and distances to locations in Middlesex, Essex and beyond were measured from here. This contributed to the pump's status as the symbolic start of the East End of London.
Aldgate Pump is a Grade II listed structure. As a well, it was mentioned during the reign of King John. As the City of London developed, it is thought to have been taken down and re-erected at its current location in 1876, as a drinking fountain, as streets were widened.
Served by one of London's many underground streams, people began to complain about the "funny" taste of the water. Upon investigation, this was found to be caused by the leaching of calcium from the bones of the dead in many new cemeteries in north London through which the stream ran. In 1876, the New River Company changed the supplies to mains water.
The wolf head on the pump is supposed to signify the last wolf shot in the City of London.
There is also a landmark in the township of Aldgate in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia known as the "Aldgate Pump". It is a disused hand pump which was originally located directly outside the Aldgate Pump Hotel. It was relocated to the intersection of Kingsland Road and Mount Barker Road but was removed in 2009 to make way for roadworks and installed on a pedestal on the footpath in the Aldgate Main Street in 2011.
- Historic England. "Details from image database (199277)". Images of England. Retrieved 14 September 2009.
- Aldermary Churchyard – Aldgate Ward, A Dictionary of London (1918). accessed 14 September 2009
- Aldgate Ward School – All Hallows Garschirch, Gracechurch, Grascherch, in Gracioustreete, A Dictionary of London (1918). accessed 14 September 2009
- Arthur Lloyd's "Aldgate pump" (Arthur Lloyd music hall history) accessed 14 September 2009