First recorded as le Bechlane in 1279, although there was a reference to land in la Beche in 1257. In 1285 it was referred to as Bechestrete and a few years later as Bechelane in 1333. It is thought to come from one of two Old English words bēce referring to the beech trees that grew here, or bece meaning stream. John Stow in his Survey of London of 1598 claimed it was named after Nicholas de la Beech, Lieutenant of the Tower in the reign of Edward III, but this is thought unlikely.
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