5 secret historic streets
1) Fournier Street
This street is one of the most important and best-preserved examples of early Georgian townhouses in Britain. First settled by French Huguenots in the 1720s the area has subsequently been populated by Jewish and Bengali communities and today is home to artists Gilbert and George and Tracey Emin.
2) Arnold Circus
Arnold Circus and the Boundary Estate’s radiating multi-storey brick tenements can be considered the world’s first council housing, completed in 1900. The area was an impoverished East End slum; the mound in the middle of the circus, where a bandstand is still extant, was created from materials demolished by the clearance.
3) Cecil Court
This atmospheric pedestrianised alley off Charing Cross Road dates to the end of the 17th century, and is today home to around 20 antiquarian and specialist booksellers. The street was named after Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury.
4) Roupell Street
This street of Georgian worker’s cottages is incredibly well-preserved. The small, dark-bricked terraced properties were built by developer and landlord John Roupell in 1824. Today the street is often used for period film and television sets. The Kings Arms pub dates from the same time and is worth a visit.
5) Cable Street
This street got its name from the ship ropes which were made from cables laid along the street in this dockland area. In 1936 it was the scene of The Battle of Cable Street: an infamous confrontation that occurred when a group of antifascists rallied and forced back a march by Oswald Mosley’s blackshirted British Union of Fascists. A mural on St George’s Town Hall depicts the events.
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