Survey of London: Volumes 33 and 34, St Anne Soho. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1966.
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The course of this street is marked on the plan of 1585 (Plate 1a) by a hedge, the western part of which formed the boundary between the land formerly in the possession of the Abbot and Convent of Abingdon Abbey (later the Pulteney estate, described in Chapter XII) on the north and St. Giles's (later Soho) Fields on the south. A plan of 1664 shows it as 'Hedg[e] Lane', (fn. 1) but it first appears by name in the ratebooks as Milk Alley in 1692, when seventeen ratepayers' names are recorded, including one 'for ye chappell' (see below). It appears in the ratebooks as Milk Alley until 1838, when it became Little Dean Street. In 1937 it was renamed Bourchier Street in commemoration of the Reverend Basil Bourchier, rector of St. Anne's from 1930 to 1933, who died in 1934.
There was a general rebuilding in Milk Alley in c. 1734, but there are now no buildings of interest in the street.
Le Tabernacle and Le Quarré French Churches
From 1692 to 1695 the ratebooks show a French church in Milk Alley. This was Le Tabernacle, which in 1696 was acquired for use by the congregation of the church called L'Église de Leicester Fields, in Orange Street, St. Martin in the Fields. The church in Milk Alley appears to have been discontinued in about 1720. (fn. 2)
In about 1769 the French church of Le Quarré (originally in Monmouth House, Soho Square) removed from Berwick Street, St. James's, (fn. 3) to a site on the south side of Milk Alley now occupied by the back of No. 64 Dean Street. A church was hired at £13 2s. 6d. per annum, and in 1769–71 building operations were carried out, costing a little over £600. Most of the payment was to a Mr. Johnson, presumably a builder. (fn. 4) The church first appears in the ratebooks in 1770. It was closed about 1850 and merged with the church of La Savoie. (fn. 5)