The ancient manor after which this street was first recorded was written down as Aldermanesburi sometime around 1124, although it is widely thought that the name is Saxon in origin. It comes from the Old English words ealdormann and burh, that is the fortified manor of the alderman. It has been suggested that the word alderman comes from the Vikings, an Aldor-mann being one of advanced years. David Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names offers the following possible explanation as to who the alderman may have been: “If the name is rather older than the earliest spellings, it is possibly a reference to Æthelred son-in-law of Alfred the Great and Ealdormann (ie underking) of Mercia who was for a time, from AD886 until his death in AD911, also governor or overlord of London.” The suggestion being that this was the centre of Saxon London and the aldermen (elder statesmen of the wards) met in their bury (house), before the buildings of the first Guildhall. The northern end of the street used to be called Jasper Street.
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