This is a narrow passage now surrounded by offices and hotels that follows an ancient path through fields when all around here was more grass than glass.

There used to be a much more interesting passage right next to this one, the Green Walk, but that was cut in half by the arrival of the London Underground, which ran in a cutting through this part of town – now buried.

So Seaforth Place is actually the rather nondescript path just to the east of the Green Walk.

Greenwood Map 1827

The area developed fast in the 19th century though, and while the Green Walk was lost, the little country path acquired its modern appearance, with large military buildings on the east and smaller buildings to the west.

OS Map 1896

Today, the northern end is flanked by a modern block on one side, and a building that looks old, but is actually early 20th century offices, which were recently converted into residential flats.

The white stuco cladding on the ground floor also doing a good job of brightening up the narrow alley.

The building to the southern end looks rather run-down and was a TfL owned residential home that was sold in 2018 and is now pending redevelopment into a 10-storey high building with 2 floors of basement.

Normally, such a large basement next to the London Underground tunnels would be problematic, but in this case, TfL asked for the basement to help reinforce the tunnel walls. Behind the current site sits the London Underground tunnels, and the roof which is currently covered in concrete slabs is to be split between a new playground for the nearby Westminster School, and a new public pocket park.

When completed, apart from a tall tower on the site, the alley is likely to be busier thanks to the arrival of a cafe on the ground floor opening into the alley itself.

So if you want to see the alley as it is today, you have a few months left, after which the southern end will look very modern.

One thing that proved untraceable though is why the name – the best guess, and only a guess is that the name crops up a lot in Scottish cities, and the military buildings were strongly affiliated with Scottish regiments, so the name may have been adopted from that.


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One comment
  1. Jonathan Wadman says:

    I wonder if the new playground is actually for Westminster City School. Westminster School is at the other end of Victoria Street, by Westminster Abbey.

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