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20 May 2009

Search out 'Of Alley'

Just beside Gordon's Wine Bar once stood York House, the grand residence of the Duke of Buckingham, which used to face out directly onto the Thames. In around 1674, the site of the house was divided up into building plots and the streets we now know were drawn up as a result.

The one condition was that all the streets in the area bore the name of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Therefore, we got Villiers Street, George Court, Duke Street, and Buckingham Street.

But all aspects of the Duke's name had to be used, so just up from these, still within the former site of the Duke's residence, London was granted an Of Alley.

In the 20th Century, Westminster City Council took the decision to change the name of the street to York Place, but when locals kicked up a fuss, a concession was made and the sign still carries the street's former name, Of Alley today.

Many thanks to the good people at London Walks for this piece of trivia, which your author learned on their excellent Apparitions, Alleyways and Ale tour, Monday's at 7.30pm.

Click here to see the location on a map.

1 comment:

  1. I was told his name was John Adam Villiers - hence John Adam Street