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Aldgate Underground Railway Station


Aldgate Railway Station which serves the Circle Line and Metropolitan Line opened on 18 November 1876 and is said to have been built on a Plague Pit where hundreds of victims of the Bubonic Plague of 1665 were buried. Daniel Dafoe mentions this ‘terrible pit’ in the churchyard of the Parish of Aldgate in his ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’ published 1722*. The station was also the scene of a joint experience where an apparition was seen just before a life threatening accident.

In the late 20th Century an electrician working within the station was accidentally electrocuted when 20,000 - 22,000 volts passed through him. Though knocked unconscious he luckily survived the accident with fairly minor injuries. His work colleagues all claimed that just before the accident they saw a partially transparent apparition of an old lady standing by the electrician and stroking his hair.

I don’t know the name of the electrician, the identity or number of the witnesses or exactly when it happened, though I would be very interested to find out.

Though damaged by a German bomb in a World War II air raid, Aldgate will always be remembered for another bomb. During the 7 July 2005 terrorist attack on London, seven commuters on a train approaching Aldgate were killed when a bomb was detonated by Shehzad Tanweer. The innocent victims who lost their life in that fateful explosion were Anne Moffatt, Lee Baisden, Carrie Louise Taylor, Benedetta Ciaccia, Richard Gray, Richard Ellery and Fiona Stevenson.

* Note that Daniel Dafoe (1659 – 24 April 1731 ) was an infant during the Great Plague and his work though possibly based on his uncles journal of the time is a work of fiction.  He did have close connections with Aldgate and I assume would have known of any Plague Pits.


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