|The church seen in the background of No.10 is St. Mary-le-Strand, on the site of which formerly stood the famous Maypole:-|
"Amid that area wide they took their stand,
Where the tall Maypole once o'erlooked the Strand,
But now (so Anne and Piety ordain),
A Church collects the saints of Drury Lane." Pope's Dunciad
The narrow turning leading to the church from Drury Lane, now Drury Court, was one time known as Maypole Lane. There were great rejoicings when, in 1661, after puritanical rigours, a Maypole 134ft. high was here erected, "by the gracious consent of his sacred Majesty Charles II.," "as near hand as they could guess in the very same pit where the former had stood, but far more glorious, bigger and higher than ever any that stood before it." "Ancient people did clap their hands saying,' Golden days begin to appear.' " ( The Citie's Loyalty Displayed, 1661, quoted in Cunningham's Handbook.) Afterwards renewed, the Maypole was finally removed in 1717."
The above description, written by Alfred Marks in 1881, was taken from the letterpress which accompanies the photographs. Originally named after the Drury family, Drury Lane, was a shabby but busy street, as indicated in A & J Bool's photograph of 1876, showing the premises of a coal merchant, a watchmaker and a mission society. In 1890, the plaster and timber houses were demolished and in 1900 many of the surrounding streets were also removed to make way for the building of the Aldwych.