Spruce Up For Great Queen Street

By Lindsey Last edited 120 months ago
Spruce Up For Great Queen Street

Improvement plans are afoot for Great Queen Street, so called because it was built as a private lane for James I's Queen Anne to shortcut from Drury Lane red light district theatreland through to Lincoln's Inn Fields. Tis a route still well used for this purpose as Covent Garden office workers flee Plaza-ville for the relative peace of the 'Fields and a lunchtime picnic.

Lazy BBC headline hunters are calling it "Da Vinci Code Street" assuming that a good number of its readers actually sat through that appalling and overly long money-milking book flick (yeah, OK, we did...) but would be better known as 'Freemason's Central' since it's home to the wonderfully intimidating United Grand Lodge of England AKA Freemason's Hall and peppered with mysterious masonic charity buildings and pubs that are intermittently swollen by men (rarely women but they are allowed) in suits and intriguing regalia. The great thing we discovered on Open House weekend last year was that since the UGLE (fabulous initialism) received Heritage Lottery Funding, it's had to open up to the public and you can go into the Lodge and have a tour or go and poke round the library and museum which is open to the public, free of charge, Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. You can even buy your own regalia.

Back on the street, though, the plans involve pavement widening, tree planting and generally making it a more pleasant pedestrian thoroughfare and public square. Amazingly, the work is scheduled to be completed by the summer.

Last Updated 28 January 2009