The etymology of the name "Aldgate" is disputed. It is first recorded in 1052 as Æst geat ("east gate") but had become Alegate by 1108. While he was a customs official, from 1374 until 1386, Geoffrey Chaucer occupied apartments above the gate, where he wrote some of his poems. The station was opened on 18 November 1876 with a southbound extension to Tower Hill opening on 25 September 1882, completing the Circle (line). Services from Aldgate originally ran further west than they do now, reaching as far as Richmond, and trains also used to run from Aldgate to Hammersmith (the Hammersmith & City line now bypasses the station). It became the terminus of the Metropolitan line in 1941. Before that, Metropolitan trains had continued on to the southern termini of the East London Line.
Aldgate station plays a role in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (published in the anthology His Last Bow). In the story, the body of a junior clerk named Cadogan West is found on the tracks outside Aldgate, with a number of stolen plans for the Bruce-Partington submarine in his pocket. It seems clear enough that "the man, dead or alive, either fell or was precipitated from a train." But why, wonders Holmes, did the dead man not have a ticket? It turns out that the body was placed on top of a train carriage before it reached Aldgate, via a window in a house on a cutting overlooking the Metropolitan line. Holmes realises that the body fell off the carriage roof only when the train was jolted by the dense concentration of points at Aldgate. The station has a waiting rooom and wi-fi.
Connections: Metropolitan. London Bus routes 25, 40, 42, 67, 78, 100, 115, 135, 205 and 254, and night routes N205, N253, N550 and N551 serve the station. Additionally, bus route 25 has a 24-hour bus service.