There are several theories behind how this street got its name although all agree it was recorded as Marthe lane around the turn of the 13thCentury, which may indicate that it was named after a woman called Martha, which in Old French was spelt Marthe. By 1276 it was spelled Martelane and by 1466 Martlane, suggesting that it was named after a market based here at the time of Edward I from the mid-13thCentury. Another suggestion is that it may have been named after the martens sold here, these small weasel-like animals were much prized for their fur. It only became Markelane in 1481.
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