London’s Alleys and Passages - Archive Articles

London’s Alleys: Sun Alley, TW9
London’s Alleys: Sun Alley, TW9

This is a short alley in Richmond town centre with on its corners, two restaurants, a pub and a community hall.

London’s Alleys: White Lion Court, EC3
London’s Alleys: White Lion Court, EC3

This is another of those ancient alleys that seems to have existed since forever, and somehow is still here.

London’s Alleys: Craven Passage, WC2
London’s Alleys: Craven Passage, WC2

In an area where most of the old roads were swallowed up by the railway, Craven Passage is a rare survivor of a path that dates back to when the area first started to be developed.

London’s Alleys: St Alban’s Court, EC2
London’s Alleys: St Alban’s Court, EC2

This is a modern looking alley that follows an ancient path, and is named after the ruined church in the middle of the road.

London’s Alleys: Gower Mews, WC1
London’s Alleys: Gower Mews, WC1

This short cul-de-sac leads off from Gower Street in central London, an area developed with upper middle-class homes, but now dominated by educational establishments.

London’s Alleys: Cobb’s Court, EC4
London’s Alleys: Cobb’s Court, EC4

This narrow right angled alley runs behind blocks of offices and shops, today offering a convenient place for fire exits and windows.

London’s Alleys: Johnson’s Court, EC4
London’s Alleys: Johnson’s Court, EC4

Long before Dr Johnson arrived, there was a Johnson’s Court – a long alley that sliced between long deep buildings fronting onto Fleet Street.

London’s Alleys: Cowper’s Court, EC3
London’s Alleys: Cowper’s Court, EC3

This is one of those alleys that’s been around for centuries, yet managed to leave hardly a trace of its existence in history.

London’s Alleys: Cliffords Inn Passage, EC4
London’s Alleys: Cliffords Inn Passage, EC4

This is one of the oldest surviving alleys in London, emerging around Tudor times when the area along Chancery Lane was first starting to be developed from fields.

London’s Alleys: Barnard’s Inn, EC1
London’s Alleys: Barnard’s Inn, EC1

Through a small gap in the line of shops and offices of Holborn can be found a medieval enclave of learning.

London’s Alleys: Turk’s Head Yard, EC1
London’s Alleys: Turk’s Head Yard, EC1

This rather shabby looking car park of an alley is a lingering remnant of a time when the area was filled with old warehouses and factories.

London’s Alleys: Marigold Alley, SE1
London’s Alleys: Marigold Alley, SE1

This is a short modern alley that’s actually much older than it looks, and in the wrong place. Oh, and gargoyles.

London’s Alleys: Wilks Place, N1
London’s Alleys: Wilks Place, N1

This is a tiny stump of a lane that was once much longer, and vastly busier, for on it was the entrance to a Victorian music hall. Wilks Place first seems to appear on a John Rocque map of 1746,

London’s Alleys: Frimley Street, E1
London’s Alleys: Frimley Street, E1

This short narrow alley seems oddly named, for streets tend to be large and wide — but it’s actually a lingering remnant of a lost road.

London’s Alleys: Nun Court, EC2
London’s Alleys: Nun Court, EC2

This is an alley with a very grand entrance that leads to a tiny dead end back passage that seems at first glance quite insignificant.

London’s Alleys: Crown Court, EC2
London’s Alleys: Crown Court, EC2

This dead-end of a rather posh looking alley is claimed to have royal connections in medieval times.

London’s Alleys: Queen’s Yard, W1
London’s Alleys: Queen’s Yard, W1

At the top of Tottenham Court Road this most appropriately named alley was until recently home to the government’s private art collection.

London’s Alleys: Argyle Walk, WC1
London’s Alleys: Argyle Walk, WC1

Sometimes you come across an alley that looks interesting, but is probably new, but turns out to be ancient.

London’s Alleys: Crawford Passage, EC1
London’s Alleys: Crawford Passage, EC1

This alley just around the corner from Farringdon Station is the famous one with the weird double yellow lines.

London’s Alleys: Moorgate Place, EC2
London’s Alleys: Moorgate Place, EC2

A short alley with a narrow covered passage that then curves around to a grand street with impressive buildings.

London’s Alleys: Tokenhouse Yard, EC2
London’s Alleys: Tokenhouse Yard, EC2

This alley is both long and grand, but also has an utterly delightful narrow tunnel at one end.

London’s Alleys: Barbers Alley, E13
London’s Alleys: Barbers Alley, E13

This long wide alley was an alley turned into a road and now back into an alley and passes to the north of a now demolished Tudor mansion in Plaistow.

London’s Alleys: Corbet Place, E1
London’s Alleys: Corbet Place, E1

This is a narrow passage in Spitalfields that’s the legacy of slum clearances in Victorian times.

London’s Alleys: Long’s Court, WC2
London’s Alleys: Long’s Court, WC2

This is one of those alleys that exist today purely to give access to back entrances and store rubbish. Yet it was once lined with houses and offices, and a very famous occupant.