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Brydges Place - Londons Narrowest Alley
Just on the south side of the Coliseum Theatre is one of the narrowest openings to an alley in the whole of London. However, it is most certainly not one of the prettiest. The passage extends between St Martin's Lane and the corner of Bedfordbury and Chandos Place, with an outlet half way along to William IV Street. To get the full effect of the narrowness, walk from the east end towards St Martin's Lane. Towering walls on either side give one a feeling of being squeezed.
At one point it is on 13 inches wide.
The access from St Martin's Lane would not originally have been built so narrow. Through demolition and rebuilding over the years in an already congested district, available land was at a premium. This meant that every opportunity to snatch a little extra was seized upon, leaving the access to Brydges Place as little more than a crack in the wall. Although the passage has been here since the early 17th century it started life under the name of Dawson's Alley. At the beginning of the 19th century it appears to have been known as Taylor's Yard - indicating an area of rather larger proportions - and by 1875 the name had changed to the present Brydges Place. The reference is to George Brydges, Lord Chandos, who was the forces Paymaster and an ancestor of the Duke of Chandos.
For the mischeivious it is also a great place to dart out from unexpectantly and startle innocent tourists!
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum