Literally Hail Mary. According to John Stow in his Survey of London from 1598 it was so named as text-writers and makers of rosary beads called Ave Marias or Paternosters sold their wares to worshippers at St Paul’s Cathedral. It has also been suggested that this was part of the pre-Reformation processional route followed on such feast days such as Corpus Christi, when the rosary was recited around the precincts of St Paul’s. It was recorded as Ave-maria aly in the early 16thCentury and Aue Mary lane in 1603.
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