Londonist's Back Passage

By M@ Last edited 140 months ago
Londonist's Back Passage

A tribute to the capital’s alleys, ginnels and snickleways...Back, after a short rest.

11. St Bride's Avenue


Part of a warren of similarly ancient thoroughfares in the Fleet Street area. As its name suggests, this one runs alongside St Bride's church, south of Fleet Street, and turns 90 degrees at the north-west to lead into the church.


Looking something like an open sewer in our photo, this is actually quite a pleasant place. Hitch up over that wall, and you'll be in the churchyard, a quiet, contemplative space to sit.

Why use?

If you only visit one church this year, make it St Bride's. You don't need to be all gody or anything to appreciate the layers of history in this place. From the tiered spire, which influenced the first wedding cake, to the crypt, which houses a small musuem and significant Roman remains - this is one of those London spots that almost sweats with history (see picture). Did we mention that the first printing press was set up in the churhyard in 1501? And way, way before that, this was a place of ancient pagan worship. There's just too much for this one little column to cover. Do go and have a look some time.

Also good for?

1. Banksy spotting. There's a faded rat just out of shot to the left of this picture. 2. Entrance to the Old Bell pub (bit cluttered with suits, but one of the gems of Fleet Street).

Last Updated 12 October 2006


Re 'Banksy Spotting' - has anyone else seen the Jack the Ripper graffito at the Artillery Passage end of Parliament Court? Is it a Banksy?


No - good spot. Has anyone got a photo? If not, I'll go investigate...


I do have a rather fuzzy photo - but I'm ever so new to all this and not entirely sure how to post a picture! Any tips? I have it saved on my pooter as a 335KB JPEG.


Also good for
3. for the typophiles, this is just next to St Bride Library, a piece of English printing and publishing history.


i really like these posts--is anyone mapping the locations you flag here? i'd like to try wandering an area searching them out...


Cheers, jrat. No, we hadn't been mapping them, but that's a terrific idea. Next time I get a free weekend, I'll start a map going and post it each week at the bottom of the post.


Here is a link to the banksy stencil
of the Ripper, just off Artillery Passage. (It's Parliament Court, where the Ripper murdered a victim)

Some people don't like the pic but I think it's more down to the fact it is painted on a bad surface than the actual pic.

I like the spray can instead of a knife in his hand.

So, yeah, it is a Banksy. You can tell and there are lots in this area.

If you get off the tube at Liverpool St (Bishopsgate exit) and take a wander around Spittalfields and Brick Lane you will see lots of his work. (My favourite is the Joy Division, love will tear us apart one, just off Brushfield Street.

*thumbs up*