Streets You Wouldn’t Want To Live In

London

Walking past this yesterday made me think of other examples of streets you wouldn’t want to live in. Tower Hamlets os an area known for drug problems, which doesn’t help. Other streets names I’ve come across that shout ‘Don’t live here’ are ‘Laundry Road’ and ‘Pumping Station Avenue’. Of course, in medieval times we had much worse, as roads were named for the activities that took place in them, the most infamous being ‘Gropec*nt Lane’.

London had several streets with this name, including one in the parishes of St Pancras and St Mary Colchirche, between Bordhawelane (bordello) and Puppekirty Lane (poke skirt) near Cheapside. First recorded in 1279 as Gropecontelane and Groppecountelane, it was part of a collection of streets that survived as a small island of prostitution outside Southwark, where such activities were normally confined during the medieval period.

8 comments on “Streets You Wouldn’t Want To Live In”

  1. Porl says:

    The street next to my parents old pub in Rochdale was called “Uncouth Road” and always raised a smile when pointed out! (Never seen another one anywhere else!)

  2. Matt says:

    I was always amused in Kilburn to see a Chinese restaurant called Chasing Dragon just off Shoot Up Hill.

    As for the best road names, there’s Willesden’s Elvis Road (just off Lennon Road) must be up at the top.

  3. Michelle says:

    Kit Kat Terrace, opposite the DLR / Bow Bells pub on Bow road

  4. Alison says:

    In Ripon there’s Barefoot Street, and in Knaresborough, our own very own Gropec*** Lane became Halfpenny Street back in the 19th century. So you couldn’t work down there if you fancied yourself a bit special, clearly.

  5. I.A.M. says:

    Around here there’s not much in the way of fun to be had with street names, but there’s no shortage of filthy activities.

    Still, there’s two Oriental restaurants that make me giggle in a very sophomoric fashion: the “Wong Kee Restaurant”, which makes me want to rush over with a shim for one corner to stabilize things; plus the place named “Pho Bich N’Ga” which clearly wasn’t run by anyone to see what the sound might be close to in English… doesn’t make much sense grammatically, but it certainly raises an eyebrow.

  6. M@ says:

    I once did a similar piece on Londonist and ended up with the following rude London street names (some are reader suggestions):

    *Places named after gentlemen’s bits*
    Laycock Street, Islington
    Penistone Road, Streatham
    Cock Lane, City
    Cock Pond, Clapham Common
    (And several other Cockish variations.)
    Bellenden Road, Peckham
    White Knobs Way, Caterham (just outside London but within the M25)
    Bellestaines Pleasaunce (Chingford, curse those extraneous ‘e’s)

    *Places named after ladies’ bits*
    Melon Road, Peckham and Leytonstone
    Clitterhouse Road, Barnet

    *Places named after gender-neutral, yet still rude anatomy*
    Back Passage, City of London
    The Ring, Hyde Park
    The Butts, Brentford

    *Places named after lewd activities and professions*
    Cold Blow Lane, New Cross
    Cumming Street, Islington
    Ogle Street, Fitzrovia
    Hooker’s Road, Walthamstow
    Bird-in-Hand Passage, Forest Hill
    Copping Close, Croydon

  7. Helen Martin says:

    I.A.M. has forgotten Blood Alley, which was real, and Leg in Boot Square, which is a modern name but was named after something that allegedly happened. That may have been the first of the mysterious foot in shoe discoveries that have enlivened the local news for a couple of years now.

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