A poor relation among the City’s commercial thoroughfares, extending south-eastward from Bishopsgate’s junction
with Liverpool Street to Aldgate. The name was first recorded in 1275. Seemingly obvious explanations for the meaning of place
names often turn out to be fallacious, but Houndsditch genuinely seems to have been a trench where ‘dead dogges were
there laid or cast’; several canine skeletons were unearthed here in 1989, probably dating from Roman times. During
the Middle Ages, Houndsditch became the centre of the bellfounding industry. Then, as demand declined following the dissolution,
the metalworkers turned to the manufacture of guns and cannons. The ditch was filled in by the end of the 16th century, when
second-hand clothes began to be sold here. For most of the 20th century the Jewish-owned Houndsditch Warehouse was a landmark
local clothing business but it has since been replaced by one of the many austere office blocks that now line the street.
In December 1910 a group of Latvian anarchists killed three policemen and injured two others who interrupted them during a
burglary attempt on a jeweller’s shop in Houndsditch. On 2 January 1911, two of the gang were cornered and subsequently
killed in the siege of Sidney Street, in Stepney.