In the mediaeval period, it was known as Cokkes Lane and was the site of legal brothels. It is famous as the site of the house (No. 25) where the supposed Cock Lane ghost manifested itself in 1762, and as being the place where the writer John Bunyan, who wrote England's first best-seller, died from a fever in 1688.
The junction of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane was known as Pye Corner, famous as marking the furthest extent of the Great Fire of London: commemorated by the Golden Boy of Pye Corner. This effigy was originally built into the front of a public house called The Fortune of War which used to occupy the site but was pulled down in 1910.
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