Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

The Sunday Six: Taking It To The Streets

This week's Six comes from a suggestion by scifinut, and it involved a rather pleasant afternoon spent wandering around peculiar pieces of London, trying out my new digital camera. It was also made even more pleasant by the fact that most of the streets in and around the City had been totally cleared of traffic, just for me. (Well, me AND some trifling little event called the Lord Mayor's Show, that is.) I warn you all in advance that I'm a very lazy photographer so don't expect anything aesthetically wonderful. If, however, you like to look at interesting photos of odd bits of London, you are recommended to friend electricana, which is Alasdair's photo LJ, because he's good at that sort of thing.

Anyway, let me take you by the hand, and lead you through...

Six of London's Most Peculiar Street Names

1. Fox and Knot Street

Where is it? Farringdon, near Smithfields Market.
Why's it called that? Well, it sounded to me like it was probably one of the many London streets and areas that are named after a pub or inn (such as Angel or Elephant and Castle), and there is a pub nearby called the Fox and Anchor. Now I've looked it up on Google, sources seem to suggest that it's a combination of that one and another pub that had "knot" in the name, the knot in question probably being a fancy ladies' head-dress rather than a tied-up bit of rope.
Other streets named after animals: Bird in Bush Road (Peckham), Hen and Chicken Court (off Fleet Street), Horse and Dolphin Yard (near Leicester Square), Terrapin Road (Tooting), Raccoon Way (Hounslow), Porcupine Close (Mottingham), The Squirrels (Lewisham).

2. Poultry

Where is it? Between St Paul's and Bank.
Why's it called that? Weirdly enough, this one really is named after chickens. This area was the traditionally the home of poulterer's shops. Now it's the home of nasty pink stripey modern architecture, which is not really an improvement.
Other streets named after meat products: Haunch of Venison Yard (Mayfair), Shoulder of Mutton Alley (Limehouse).

3. Knightrider Street

Where is it? Near St Paul's Cathedral.
Why's it called that? No, it's not named after David Hasselhoff. Apparently knights used to ride down it to get from the Tower of London to Ludgate.
Other streets (not really) named after TV shows: Little Britain (near Guildhall), Crown Court (off Fleet Street). There's also a Batman Close in Shepherd's Bush.

4. Mincing Lane

Where is it? Near Fenchurch Street
Why's it called that? Nothing to do with either butcher's shops or funny walks. It's from the word minchun meaning "nun", because some of the buildings used to belong to a local convent.
Other streets that sound like a bit naughty: Titley Close (Chingford), Cock Lane (Farringdon), Cocks Crescent (New Malden), Shadybush Close (Bushey), Shafter Road (Dagenham), Horniman Drive (Forest Hill), Peckarmans Wood (Sydenham), Cumming Street (King's Cross), Spray Lane (Twickenham).

5. Crutched Friars

Where is it? Near Fenchurch Street.
Why's it called that? Named after the Friars of the Holy Cross, who had a monastery here – they were known as the Crouched Friars because they had a big cross on their habits and "crouched" was the old word for "crossed". Then crouched became crutched over the years. I think it would be quite funny if it changed again to "crushed".
Other streets named after peculiar professions: Pageantmaster Court (St Paul's), Limeburner Lane (St Paul's), Leman Street (Aldgate – "leman" means prostitute, because it was a big brothel area).

6. Bleeding Heart Yard

Where is it? Farringdon.
Why's it called that? Named after the Bleeding Heart Tavern, a version of which still exists there.
Other streets with just plain silly names: Hanging Sword Alley (off Fleet Street), Turnagain Lane (Farringdon – it's a dead end, geddit?), Ha Ha Road (Woolwich), Pope's Head Alley (Bank), Crooked Usage (Finchley), Uneeda Drive (Greenford), Frying Pan Alley (Liverpool Street).

...and here's a bonus: streets with a Harry Potter connection
No, I didn't visit any of these, but had I wanted to, I could have gone to Potter Street (Pinner), Ronald Avenue (West Ham), Granger Grove (London Bridge), Severus Road (Clapham), Sirius Buildings (Stepney), Remus Road (Hackney) or Lupin Close (Croydon), Minerva Road (Acton), Neville Road (Ilford), Luna Road (Thornton Heath), Draco Street (Camberwell), Lavender Hill (Enfield)...
Tags: london, photos, sunday six
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