Let me take you by the hand….in the words of Ralph McTell
I must admit I certainly have, and the City of London where I worked for 27 years has some of the strangest, I’ve ever seen.
So, my curiosity got the better of me, and I dug a little deeper, into some of the City of London’s quirkier street names.
The street takes its name from Sir Thomas Savage, who lived near here in the 1620s and was an English peer and courtier in the court of Charles I. He amazingly had 19 children.
Want to discover more than about London?
We have a little book on our shelves that we sometimes delve into when we're about to hit an area of London.
Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different regions of London, it's a great resource to help you see what's hidden in plain sight.
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Pope’s Head Alley
Pope’s Head Alley in EC3, is named after a 13th-century inn, the Pope's Head Tavern that once stood here.
What’s with the Blue Plaques?
Bow Lane and Bow Churchyard
Bow Lane and Bow Churchyard are named after the nearby St Mary-le-Bow church. It was formerly known as Hosier Lane, after the local stocking making trade.
This historic church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren due to the Great Fire of London in 1666.
According to London tradition to be a true Cockney you must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells.
Little Britain got its name from the Dukes of Brittany who built a house here in the 15th century. From 1575 – 1725 there were mostly booksellers on the street until they all moved to Paternoster Row where it was free to sell books.
Little Britain is also mentioned in Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations as the location of Jaggers', Pip's surly lawyer office.
Cock Lane in EC1 doesn’t have a very upbeat history, as it is thought to be named after cockfighting and cock breeding that formerly occurred here.
Although just on the corner with Cock Lane is the “Golden Boy of Pye Corner”.
This golden memorial was erected in memory of the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is ascribed to the Sin of Gluttony.
The Golden Boy once sat above the “Fortune of War” pub, which was pulled down in 1910.
The length of this road is around 276 miles (444km). It is believed that the Romans paved Watling Street during AD 47 and 48, so this has undoubtedly seen some footsteps.
I understand it has been called Jerusalem Passage since the 17th-century.
It was named after the St. John of Jerusalem tavern which up to 1720 was at the northeast corner of the lane.
French Ordinary Court
The ‘ordinary’ part refers to a ‘cheap eating place’, which were common during the 17th & 18th centuries and served meals that all cost the same price.
A French-style Ordinary stood on the site of the court in EC3.
How to get there
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