Nine London Street Signs That Will Make You Look Twice

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By M@
Nine London Street Signs That Will Make You Look Twice

From typos to namesakes, London's street names are full of interest.

John Carpenter Street, EC4

Image by Dun.can in the Londonist flickr pool.

Horror fans might do a double-take while walking through the Whitefriars area, east of Temple. The director of Halloween and The Thing is seemingly commemorated in an EC4 street sign. Fear not. The road is instead named after a 15th century town clerk, noted for founding the City of London School for Boys.  

Trump Street and Russia Row, EC2

London has both a Clinton Street and a Trump Street. The latter can be found just north of Cheapside in the Square Mile. As we pointed out during the 2015 US election — prophetically, as it turns out — 'the road quickly turns into Russia Row', the adjacent street.  

Cinderella Path, NW11

A magical location in Golders Green. Just like the fairytale Cinderella, this cul-de-sac has undergone an unexpected transformation. If you look closely, the sign-writer has corrected a typo on the second vowel. Blame the wicked step-sisters.

Boadicea Street, N1

Until recent times, the Iceni queen's name was usually written as Boadicea. The spelling is an 18th century blunder that somehow became commonplace. Her name is now rendered as Boudica or Boudicca, to better match the writing of Tacitus, a contemporary source.

But that's not the reason this street sign makes us scratch our chin whenever we pass by. One has to wonder, should we be celebrating Boudica at all?

The Queen of the Iceni, razed our city to the ground in 60 CE, just 20 years after its foundation. She is the only person to have utterly obliterated London. Thousands of citizens — including native Britons if Tacitus is to be believed — were stabbed, decapitated, set aflame and crucified by her army.

Yet the city she destroyed has repeatedly celebrated the vengeful warrior. This street in Islington can be found close to the mythical site of her battle with the Romans at King's Cross. There is, meanwhile, no Suetonius Street to commemorate the general who finally vanquished the Iceni, allowing a rebuilt Londinium to flourish.

Routemaster Close, E13

It's not just famous people who get street signs in London. Famous vehicles are also fair game. This Plaistow street takes its name from the beloved double-decker. The site, now housing, was formerly occupied by West Ham Bus Garage — a nice bit of continuity.

The migrating sign of Berners Place, W1

This Fitzrovia backstreet hasn't changed much in decades. The sign has moved on a few times, though, leaving a snail-like trail of ghost signs in its wake.

Goswell Road, EC1

Not a particularly unusual name, granted, but Goswell Road is a favourite among London trivia fans. This, it turns out, is the only 'Road' in the entire City of London. There are plenty of Streets, Avenues and Courts, but this is the only Road. It's not even a full road. The north-bound carriage is in Islington. Read all about it here.

Bellenden Road, SE15

Peckham's Bellenden Road would make a puritan titter, but it's only one of many lewd-sounding street names that decorate the capital. We've collected together dozens of dubious addresses, from Cock Lane to Cumming Street.

Please share your own favourite street names in the comments below.

Last Updated 18 September 2017

John Kerry

I live in Canada which is probably why I am puzzled. What is so lewd about Bellenden?