You know how it is, ordering something online and when ready to enter your address you are invited by the algorithm to start typing.
Now if you live in High Street or Park Road you will have to type much of your address before being able to ‘click’ on your order’s correct destination. For you it’s better to give your postcode, that way there’s only a couple of dozen sharing that six- or seven-digit number.
But here’s a little window on my world, my street has a unique name commemorating if anyone needed reminding, that the second queen to Henry IV died here in 1437. So within five keystrokes, my address pops up. With 360 miles comprising 60,000 streets, surely London must have many similarly uniquely named thoroughfares.
First I tried London’s shortest named street – Hide. Yes! That was unique, nowhere in the UK is there a Hide; Hide Street, Hide Road even the definite article – The Hide.
At the other end of the road-naming scale is St. Martin-in-the-Field Church Path. No prizes for guessing how many of those are to be found in Britain.
What about London’s shortest street – Kirk Street at 50ft long? Here 28 are to be found of various lengths in the UK. London’s longest road at 7.45 miles is Green Lanes, curiously only 8 are to be found, despite its rather seemingly common name. Next, I tried London’s longest street, which is Rotherhithe Street at 1.5 miles in a wide arc just south of the Thames, that one was satisfyingly unique.
The oldest house to found in the City is medieval, having survived the Great Fire of London, and situated in the wonderfully named Cloth Fair, surely fairs of all kinds have taken place in Britain. Nope, just one.
As streets go, at 15 inches wide you have to give it to Brydges Place for the title of London’s narrowest, and the only one of any width, to be found in the UK.
Other unusually named unique streets are:
Crutched Friars, EC3; Bleeding Heart Yard, EC1; Shoulder of Mutton Alley, E14; Hanging Sword Alley, EC4; Trump Street, EC2; St. Mary Axe, EC3; French Ordinary Court, EC3; Wardrobe Place, EC4
And obviously Maggie Blake’s Cause, a short alley near Tower Bridge, is unique.