Rose Court is a rather unappealing alley that looks like it’s probably modern but is a relic of older times. It’s also sufficiently small as to rarely appear on any maps.

When the area was more small alleys and Commercial Street with its wide spaces didn’t exist, one of the larger roads was Rose Lane which ran from the current Court northwards to Fashion Street.

When the area was redeveloped for Commercial Street in the 1840s, a lot of the little lanes were demolished as slum clearance, and all that was left of Rose Lane was the tiny little stump at the end, now grandly and totally inappropriately called a Court.

The block the alley can be found in was once split in half with a large court in the middle, and a Jews Free School at the rear. During WW2 the back of the block was flattened.

The building fronting Wentworth Street and Commercial Street was rebuilt by the 1960s. In 2000, the upper floors of the corner block to the eastern side was converted into flats, but it seems that an agreement by the developer to provide some social amenity was not carried out, but because the council didn’t check until 2012, and wasn’t able to enforce the requirement any more.

A recent planning application to add an extension on top of one of the flats at the back of the alley was refused because the alley is deemed to be inside a conservation area. While the surrounding area is indeed historic, if rather shabby, the alley is very shabby.

The back of the alley is private, and fenced off, while the rest of the space is used as commercial overflow with bins and rubbish piled up — and judging by the smell, as an open air toilet at night.

Despite its appearance, someone still felt it merited an sign complaining about gentrification in the area.

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