Tour Locations | Charles Dickens from Furnival's Inn to Doughty Street
Right on Leather Lane
Turn right here. This is Leather Lane. Keep walking to the very end of the road.
If you are lucky, you will be here on market day. There has been a market here for over 400 years. Despite its name, it was not a market that specialised in selling leather goods, the name of the street derives from the corruption of an ancient landowner's name, Le Vrunelane. He was a wealthy merchant who lived here. The first market here was set up in the time of King Charles II, and was the result of a bad gambling debt incurred by the king. The man to whom he owed the money, asked instead for a royal charter to set up a street market. The king had no choice but to agree. Running parallel to this street is a road known as Saffron Hill, which was once, as its name suggests, a place where fields of saffron could be found. In Charles Dickens's time, the area was very dangerous and crime-ridden. In 1850 a book entitled The Hand-Book of London described this area as: “densely inhabited by poor people and thieves." Saffron Hill is also home to The One Tun pub. The previous pub of that name is believed to have inspired the author to create The Three Cripples. This is the pub in Oliver Twist where Bill Sikes, Nancy and Fagin are regulars.
Keep walking straight.