London Puzzles: The Lord Mayor’s Journey

In response to our article about the lack of ‘Roads’ in the City of London, we received an email from 81-year old Rodney Russell, with a fiendish puzzle.

His grandmother, born in London in 1875, used to sing a song about the city, which included the following verse:

The Lord Mayor, the Lord Mayor
Went from the The Mansion House to Buckingham Palace
And never went through a street

So the question is, can you find a route that takes the Lord Mayor from his home at Mansion House (where Bank station is), to the Palace, without passing along any thoroughfares with ‘Street’ in their name? (We’re assuming he didn’t catch the Tube, although that would be a cheeky solution as the Circle/District Line could take you from Mansion House to St James’s Park without encountering any stations with ‘Street’ in the name.)

We reckon we can just about do it, if our Lord Mayor is prepared to walk certain sections. Those who want to take it one-step further might like to try the puzzle on a late Victorian map, when the road layout and street names were slightly different.

Solutions in the comments, please…and do let us know if you have any further information about the song the puzzle comes from. Rodney is unable to find any reference.

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  • KerryT

    Bank – Poultry, Cheapside, New Change, St Paul’s Churchyard, Ludgate Hill, Old Bailey, Holborn Viaduct, Holborn, High Holborn, Shaftesbury Avenue. Charing Cross Rd, St Martin’s Place, Strand, The Mall – Buckingham Palace

    • MattFromLondonist

      That’s the best we could do, too. The only issue is at New Change, where you’d have to briefly go onto Cannon Street before reaching Ludgate Hill…unless you went on foot through the churchyard.

      • KerryT

        Or you could go from New Change through the back of the churchyard into Paternoster Square, then Ave Maria Lane to Ludgate Hill, (and hope they hadn’t locked the churchyard gates…..)

    • Joe Dunckley

      On the Victorian map there’s a gap between High Holborn and Shaftesbury Avenue — the western end of High Holborn being named Broad Street, with the potential alternative present day Bloomsbury Way then being named Hart Street. So you’d have had to go up Southampton Row and Woburn Place to Euston Road and back down TCR (one-way traffic systems being a more recent intervention, and perhaps soon to be a thing of history themselves).

  • bondi1000

    The solution to this lies in London’s great superhighway, aka The Thames. Historically Lord Mayors would have used their barge (as depicted eg by Canaletto) to get from the City to Westminster. So the route is Poultry, Cheapside, St Benet’s Hill, St Paul’s Wharf, Thames, Whitehall Stairs, Whitehall, Horse Guards, Mall. I’ve been trying to find some online reference to this and the best I can do so far is this from George Sala in 1895 (Georgian Group)