26 March 2017 | 10 °C

London Streets Named After Fictional Characters

London Streets Named After Fictional Characters
For someone who never visited London (and never existed), Hercules has a lot of places named after him.

Ancient mythology

London is most obsessed with naming places after Greek, Roman and Egyptian gods. There's Agamemnon Road; Artemis Place; Orpheus Street; Athena Court; Hermes Close, Court and Street; Ulysses Road (aka Odysseus); and Isis Close, House and Street (the Egyptian goddess also gives her name to the stretch of the Thames in Oxford.

Theseus of Minotaur fame, though not a deity, also gets his own Walk near Angel. We recommend you take a ball of thread with you.

Someone must have had a soft spot for Minerva, goddess of wisdom; she gets a Close, Lodge, Road, Street and Walk.

Hercules is also disproportionately celebrated, earning himself a Court, Place, Road, Street and Yard. Hercules was, of course, a Disney character too, speaking of which...

Poppins Court, home to the Poppins Cafe, and apparently a ghost construction worker. Image © Google.

Disneyeque

Poppins Court off Fleet Street was originally Poppinjaye Alley, and most certainly doesn't take its named from the PL Travers character, which first appeared in 1926. Could the inspiration have been the other way around? It's possible.

There's also a Cinderella Path in Golders Green (don't go there after midnight).

Neither of the above are anywhere near Disney Street, which is in Borough.

For some reason, Sherwood's famous son has a number of places in London named after him.

Derring-do

Disney will have you believe that every princess must have her knight in shining armour. Maybe they're to be found trotting up and down Galahad Road (Bromley) or Ivanhoe Road (Dulwich).

There's also a Merlin Street in Pentonville. Some claim that the Penton Mound in this area was where Merlin had an observatory, dwelling in a cave beneath. We remain extremely skeptical.

But thrashing the above fictional sword-wielders into oblivion is Robin of Locksley: there's a Robin Hood Court, Gardens, Lane, Way, House and Primary School. Not bad, seeing as he had nothing to do with London. And didn't exist.

Little Dorrit: a popular choice.

Literary

No surprise who the two literary greats battling it out on London's streets are. In the Bard's corner is Macbeth Street (Hammersmith); Prospero Road (Archway); Portia Way (Mile End); and Hamlet Road (Crystal Palace). There are loads of other places in London named after Hamlet too.

Charles Dickens gets Dorrit House, Dorrit Street, Little Dorrit Court and Nickleby House (which is on the Dickens Estate). In fact, there's a whole cluster in Borough, where Dickens lodged while his father was incarcerated at the nearby Marshalsea debtors' prison. Look out for Copperfield Street, Doyce Street, Quilp Street, Trundle Street and Weller Street, among others — all named after characters from his novels. We don't think Ebenezer Street, off Old Street, has any links to everyone's favourite Christmas grump.

Few other literary characters get a look-in. But it's good to see an appearance from Crusoe Mews — in Stoke Newington, close to where Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe lived. There are a handful other other places named after Crusoe.

No prizes for guessing how Sherlock Mews, just off Baker Street, got its name. And is Baskerville Gardens in Neasden named after the beast from the classic Conan Doyle novel? We can't find any connection, but we do love how this address can be found just off Dog Lane.

Flanders Place is nothing to do with this guy.

Comedy characters

A number of places in London have unconsciously and preemptively named themselves after comedy characters: there's a Cosmo Place (not named after the weird neighbour in Seinfeld); Flanders Court (not named after the neighbour in The Simpsons); Partridge Way (not named after Alan); Garfield Court (not named after the lugubrious cat); Penfold Street (not named after the Danger Mouse sidekick); Millman Court (not named after Ricky Gervais's character in Extras) and Rodney Road (not named after the Only Fools and Horses character, and not all that far from Peckham)

Would we lie to you?

Batman Close

Batman Close had to get a section of its own. Surely one of the oddest-named places in London, it sadly has nothing to do with Bruce Wayne. Its etymology could hark back to when a 'batman' was an officer's assistant, whose job it was to pack his master's things.

There is also a Batman Dental Practice. How can you not look forward to going to your check up when it's called that?

Last Updated 11 October 2016