A tribute to the capital’s alleys, ginnels and snickleways
20. Faulkner's Alley
Where? Runs parallel to Turnmill Street, between Cowcross Street and Benjamin Street.
What? Wooooo! Spooky, eh? And so it should be. This little shortcut is 350 years old, predating the Great Fire. This part of Cowcross Street would have then overlooked the River Fleet, which today lies buried beneath the Metropolitan Line tracks. Back then, herds of cattle would have been herded daily past the entrance of this passage, on their way to Smithfield Market. From whence the name Cowcross Street.
Why use? There's no particularly good reason to use this passage, other than a more atmospheric alternative to Turnmill Street. However, it does lead to St John's Gardens, a very small, and somehow morose, patch of turf. At t'other end is the Castle Pub, in which the never-popular George IV is said to have pawned his watch to raise gambling funds.
See each and every one of our back passages mapped here