Billiter Street, EC3M

Place Name

This was the lane – and later street – of the bellfounders and dates from the mid13thCentury. It first featured as Belyeterslane in 1244, later Belzeters in 1298, Beliters in 1318, and Byllyter in 1531, the word coming from the Old French for a bell founder. It took its present form in 1591. At the end of the middle ages there were over 120 churches in London and in consequence the bellfounders’ guild was a prosperous one. Its members were called belzeters, from which the term ‘billiter’ is derived. It was here that they made their bells and tuned them.

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