This is the greater of three turnstile alleys in the Holborn alley, although only greater in name not in stature.

The alleys are named after the time when Lincolns Inns fields to the south were used for cattle, and there was a need to stop them wandering off into Holborn. Hence, turnstiles were erected in Tudor times, and hundreds of years later after the cattle have gone to the great chop house in the sky, the name lingers on.

Great Turnstile later became famous as a passage for shops, and in 1750 first civil engineer, John Smeaton, was making philosophical instruments in a house on the alley. That set a trend for the area, and by the late 19th century the place was known for its scientific instruments and booksellers.

For much of the 20th century, the New Statesman magazine was published from offices at 10 Great Turnstile.

Sadly today much of the heritage of the alley has long passed away, lined as it is with rather unexciting modern office blocks.

At least a hint of the old turnstile is retained, in the form of railings designed to slow down speeding cyclists.

Nearest railway stations

  1. Chancery Lane
  2. Holborn
Tagged with:
SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE

This website has been running now for just over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what your read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

One comment on “London’s Alleys: Great Turnstile, WC2
  1. Melvyn says:

    ” after the cattle have done to the great chop house in the sky, the name lingers on.” – Should done be gone ?

    I used work opposite this alley in State House which has long since been demolished!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*