Secret history of London’s alleyways

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Inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, a path to the final place a duel was fought in London and a walkway alongside the partitions of the previous jail the place Charles Dickens’s father was held – the capital’s alleyways have untold secrets and techniques. 

Goodwin’s Court docket in Covent Backyard is rumoured to have impressed the creators of the Harry Potter movies of their depiction of Diagon Alley. And with its slender walkway and quite a few store fronts that includes bulging picket bays and latticed home windows, it is easy to see why.

The earliest point out of Goodwin’s Court docket was in 1690 and actress Nell Gywnn, a mistress of King Charles II, is rumoured to have lived within the tiny alleyway.  

Angel Place in Borough is an alleyway which used to the touch sides with the partitions of the Marshalsea – a infamous jail the place Charles Dickens’s father was held for money owed to a baker in 1824.  

Goodwin's Court in Covent Garden is rumoured to have inspired the creators of the Harry Potter films in their depiction of Diagon Alley. And with its narrow walkway and numerous shop fronts featuring bulging wooden bays and latticed windows, it's easy to see why

Goodwin’s Court docket in Covent Backyard is rumoured to have impressed the creators of the Harry Potter movies of their depiction of Diagon Alley. And with its slender walkway and quite a few store fronts that includes bulging picket bays and latticed home windows, it is easy to see why

Goodwin's Court in Covent Garden is rumoured to have inspired the creators of the Harry Potter films in their depiction of Diagon Alley. And with its narrow walkway and numerous shop fronts featuring bulging wooden bays and latticed windows, it's easy to see why

The earliest point out of Goodwin’s Court docket (left) was in 1690 and actress Nell Gywnn, a mistress of King Charles II, is rumoured to have lived within the tiny alleyway. Pictured left: Goodwin’s Court docket. Proper: Diagon Alley in Harry Potter

Pickering Place, in St James's, leads to the tiniest public square in London - the site of the last duel to take place in London in the mid-1800s. The alleyway is just to the left of wine shop Berry Bro's and Rudd, previously known as Widow Bourne's Coffeeshop - where a store has stood since 1698. It was named after William Pickering - the son-in-law of the then owner of the coffeeshop. Pickering himself designed the alleyway and square in the 18th century

Pickering Place, in St James’s, results in the tiniest public sq. in London – the positioning of the final duel to happen in London within the mid-1800s. The alleyway is simply to the left of wine store Berry Bro’s and Rudd, beforehand often known as Widow Bourne’s Coffeeshop – the place a retailer has stood since 1698. It was named after William Pickering – the son-in-law of the then proprietor of the coffeeshop. Pickering himself designed the alleyway and sq. within the 18th century

Magpie Alley, off Fleet Street in the City of London, is a covered walkway which features white tiles that celebrate the history of the printing press. Fleet Street is famed for being the former home of London's newspaper industry. Magpie Alley was first mentioned in the 17th century but has been the home to an underground crypt since the 1300s

Magpie Alley, off Fleet Avenue within the Metropolis of London, is a coated walkway which options white tiles that commemorate the historical past of the printing press. Fleet Avenue is famed for being the previous dwelling of London’s newspaper business. Magpie Alley was first talked about within the seventeenth century however has been the house to an underground crypt for the reason that 1300s

Dickens was then compelled to depart college to work in a manufacturing facility to earn cash for the household and based mostly a number of of his characters on his expertise – most notably Amy Dorritt, whose father is within the Marshalsea for money owed.  

The Grade II-listed wall marks the southern boundary of the infamous jail – recognized for letting 300 of its inmates (who had been imprisoned for petty crimes corresponding to owing debt) starve to dying inside three months.  

Pickering Place, in St James’s, results in the tiniest public sq. in London – the positioning of the final duel to happen within the metropolis within the mid-1800s. 

The alleyway is simply to the left of wine store Berry Bro’s and Rudd, beforehand often known as Widow Bourne’s Coffeeshop – the place a retailer has stood since 1698.  

It was named after William Pickering – the son-in-law of the then proprietor of the coffeeshop. Pickering himself designed the alleyway and sq. within the 18th century. 

And the alleyway was additionally dwelling to former prime minister Lord Palmerston within the nineteenth century.  

Bengal Court in the City of London was recorded as an unnamed passage as early as 1682 in William Morgan's map of London. By 1746 it had been named White Lyon Alley and it wasn't until the next century that its name was changed to Bengal Court. While the origins of its current name are unclear, it seems likely that it could be because of a pub that sat in the alley called the Bengal Arms Tavern in 1882

Just off Hatton Garden in Holborn lies Ely Court, the small alleyway now leads to Ye Olde Mitre pub - originally built in 1546. The name Ely comes from the Bishop of Ely who was a major landowner in the area in the 16th century. The alley runs almost exactly along the lines of the bishop's cloister

Bengal Court docket (left) within the Metropolis of London was recorded as an unnamed passage as early as 1682 in William Morgan’s map of London. By 1746 it had been named White Lyon Alley and it wasn’t till the following century that its title was modified to Bengal Court docket. Whereas the origins of its present title are unclear, it appears seemingly that it could possibly be due to a pub that sat within the alley referred to as the Bengal Arms Tavern in 1882

London’s narrowest alley is regarded as Emerald Court docket in Bloomsbury – measuring simply 26 inches throughout at its narrowest level, based on Look Up London.  

One other alleyway, Brydges Place off St Martin’s Lane, claims the title for London’s narrowest alleyway however its narrowest level is available in at 33 inches.  

The minuscule walkway was initially named Inexperienced Avenue however was renamed within the late 18th century to keep away from confusion with different equally named alleyways.  

The Wapping Previous Stairs alleyway will lead walkers straight into the river if they do not preserve their wits about them. 

Presumably relationship again to the 1500s, the rickety stone stairs lead from the sting of the road straight down into The Thames. 

One of many earliest references to the steps was made in a newspaper in 1736 when the physique of a person was discovered floating close by. 

Pickering Place was named after William Pickering - the son-in-law of the then owner of the coffeeshop. Pickering himself designed the alleyway and square in the 18th century. And the alleyway was also home to former prime minister Lord Palmerston in the 19th century

Pickering Place was named after William Pickering – the son-in-law of the then proprietor of the coffeeshop. Pickering himself designed the alleyway and sq. within the 18th century. And the alleyway was additionally dwelling to former prime minister Lord Palmerston within the nineteenth century

Magpie Alley was first mentioned in the 17th century but has been the home to an underground crypt since the 1300s. It was unearthed in 1895 and restored in the 1920s. This site was home to the Carmelite Order of the White Friars since 1253. Their domain once stretched from Fleet Street to the Thames, and at one time included a church, cloisters, cemetery and garden. After Henry VIII disbanded the priory in the mid-16th century and gifted the land to his doctor the buildings deteriorated

Magpie Alley was first talked about within the seventeenth century however has been the house to an underground crypt for the reason that 1300s. It was unearthed in 1895 and restored within the Twenties. This web site was dwelling to the Carmelite Order of the White Friars since 1253. Their area as soon as stretched from Fleet Avenue to the Thames, and at one time included a church, cloisters, cemetery and backyard. After Henry VIII disbanded the priory within the mid-Sixteenth century and gifted the land to his physician the buildings deteriorated

The steps have been there so pirates and thieves could possibly be hanged at execution docks and left as a spectacle till the tide washed over them thrice.  

Artillery Passage in Spitalfields is now jam-packed with eating places nevertheless it was as soon as church land earlier than King Henry VII’s dissolution of the monasteries within the Sixteenth century. 

The entire space of Spitalfields was owned by the Priory of St Mary Spital. However after the dissolution the realm was seized to change into a storage space for artillery, canon and archery grounds. 

It was in 1682 that homes and outlets started being constructed after the land was leased for growth. A pale black and white painted signal exhibits that work started in 1682 and bears a pale image of a black arrow. 

The black arrow is the image of the Board of Ordinances – the federal government division answerable for its constructing. 

Canon Alley, also in the City of London, is slightly more modern than the others on the list - with its first mention being in 1799. The area is sits in was destroyed in the Blitz and during its rebuilding, architects were careful to leave the alleyways largely untouched

Canon Alley offers one of the most spectacular and undisturbed views of St Paul's Cathedral - it was even featured in Mission: Impossible - Fallout

Canon Alley, additionally within the Metropolis of London, is barely extra fashionable than the others on the checklist – with its first point out being in 1799. The world is sits in was destroyed within the Blitz and through its rebuilding, architects have been cautious to depart the alleyways largely untouched. Canon Alley presents one of the crucial spectacular and undisturbed views of St Paul’s Cathedral – it was even featured in Mission: Unimaginable – Fallout

Magpie Alley, off Fleet Avenue within the Metropolis of London, is a coated walkway which options white tiles that commemorate the historical past of the printing press. 

Fleet Avenue is famed for being the previous dwelling of London’s newspaper business. Magpie Alley was first talked about within the seventeenth century however has been the house to an underground crypt for the reason that 1300s. 

It was unearthed in 1895 and restored within the Twenties. This web site was dwelling to the Carmelite Order of the White Friars since 1253. 

Their area as soon as stretched from Fleet Avenue to the Thames, and at one time included a church, cloisters, cemetery and backyard. 

After Henry VIII disbanded the priory within the mid-Sixteenth century and gifted the land to his physician the buildings deteriorated. 

A faded black and white painted sign in Artillery Passage shows that work began in 1682 and bears a faded symbol of a black arrow

A pale black and white painted sign up Artillery Passage exhibits that work started in 1682 and bears a pale image of a black arrow

Angel Place in Borough is an alleyway which used to touch sides with the walls of the Marshalsea - a notorious prison where Charles Dickens's father was held for debts to a baker in 1824

Angel Place in Borough is an alleyway which used to the touch sides with the partitions of the Marshalsea – a infamous jail the place Charles Dickens’s father was held for money owed to a baker in 1824

Simply off Hatton Backyard in Holborn lies Ely Court docket, the small alleyway now results in Ye Olde Mitre pub – initially in-built 1546. 

The title Ely comes from the Bishop of Ely who was a significant landowner within the space within the Sixteenth century. The alley runs virtually precisely alongside the strains of the bishop’s cloister. 

Ye Previous Mitre is so previous {that a} cherry tree which leans towards the pub has truly change into a part of its construction.  

Bengal Court docket within the Metropolis of London was recorded as an unnamed passage as early as 1682 in William Morgan’s map of London. 

By 1746 it had been named White Lyon Alley and it wasn’t till the following century that its title was modified to Bengal Court docket. 

Whereas the origins of its present title are unclear, it appears seemingly that it could possibly be due to a pub that sat within the alley referred to as the Bengal Arms Tavern in 1882. 

Artillery Passage in Spitalfields is now jam-packed with restaurants but it was one church land before King Henry VII's dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. The whole area of Spitalfields was owned by the Priory of St Mary Spital. But after the dissolution the area was seized to become a storage area for artillery, canon and archery grounds

Artillery Passage in Spitalfields is now jam-packed with eating places nevertheless it was one church land earlier than King Henry VII’s dissolution of the monasteries within the Sixteenth century. The entire space of Spitalfields was owned by the Priory of St Mary Spital. However after the dissolution the realm was seized to change into a storage space for artillery, canon and archery grounds

London's narrowest alley is thought to be Emerald Court in Bloomsbury - measuring just 26 inches across at its narrowest point. Another alleyway, Brydges Place off St Martin's Lane, claims the title for London's narrowest alleyway but its narrowest point comes in at 33 inches

London’s narrowest alley is regarded as Emerald Court docket in Bloomsbury – measuring simply 26 inches throughout at its narrowest level. One other alleyway, Brydges Place off St Martin’s Lane, claims the title for London’s narrowest alleyway however its narrowest level is available in at 33 inches

On the nook of the alleyway is the George and Vulture restaurant which is talked about quite a few instances in The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens – who was a loyal buyer. 

The George and Vulture has been the assembly place of the Charles Dickens appreciation society – The Metropolis Pickwick Membership – since its inception. 

Cedric Charles Dickens, the creator’s great-grandson, campaigned to save lots of the pub when it was threatened with demolition and since 1950 is has been the house of his Dickens Pickwick Membership.  

Canon Alley, additionally within the Metropolis of London, is barely extra fashionable than the others on the checklist – with its first point out being in 1799. 

The world it sits in was destroyed within the Blitz and through its rebuilding architects have been cautious to depart the alleyways largely untouched. 

Canon Alley presents one of the crucial spectacular and undisturbed views of St Paul’s Cathedral – it was even featured in Mission: Unimaginable – Fallout.  



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