Thursday, February 14, 2019

The UK's Most Romantic Streets

There are 168 Love Lanes in Great Britain. You can view them all on Esri Valentine's Day interactive map, Britain's Most Romantic Roads. The Esri map has 1,453 romantic streets in total. As well as showing the location of all 168 Love Lanes Esri's map includes a Kissing Tree Lane in Stratford-upon-Avon, a Partnership Way in Blackburn and a Heart’s Delight Road in Kent.

The toponym 'Love Lane' presumably originates from being a location which was locally known as where people went to make out or engage in sexual activity. These locations are often known colloquially as 'Lovers' Lane'. John Stow in his Survey of London in 1598 described London's Love Lane as "so called of Wantons". In other words Love Lane was so called because of its prostitutes.

The Esri map doesn't include any Gropecunt Lanes. This was another popular name for roads which were known for prostitution. One reason why this road name hasn't made it to Esri's map is that the last Gropecunt Lane in the UK was renamed to something more delicate in 1561. Britain's Most Romantic Roads also, disappointingly, doesn't include Tickle Cock Bridge in Castleford.

This romantic themed map also doesn't include Lovers' Leap in the Peak District. Perhaps the existence of a Lovers' Leap was deemed to be a little too depressing for Valentine's Day. A local legend claims that Lovers' Leap was so named because it is where a young woman killed herself. The woman had been told that her lover had been killed in the Napoleonic wars. She therefore threw herself off the promontory which is now known as Lovers' Leap. Of course it was discovered soon after her death that her lover was alive and well.

Other once vulgar street names in London which have since been changed are Pissing Alley and Shite Burn Lane (now called Sherborne Lane).


AuggieEast said...

Similarly San Francisco has its Maiden Lane, formerly known for its hookers but now smack dab in the middle of a high end shopping district.

Khasab Sea Tours said...

Great post!

WolfLarsen said...
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