Pear Tree Court, EC1R

Place Name

First recorded in 1685. This was originally thought to have been named from a local pear tree that grew here possibly as a remanent of Clerkenwell’s Augustinian Nunnery of St Mary’s orchard, the whole precinct covering 14 acres. However Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names casts doubt on this saying: “The name does not appear until 150 years after the nunnery was dissolved, and the land had been put to different uses in the meantime. The Pear Tree was a common inn-sign, which may be the origin of the name here.” It was one of the last nunneries to be suppressed as it was dissolved in 1539 with the nuns being pensioned off. Sheila Fairfield in Streets of London says that the fact the area was still rural at the time suggests that it does in fact come from a pear tree after all.

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