Explore the City's Ancient Alleyways in the Footsteps of Charles Dickens
Continue the way you are going, up Cheapside Road with the traffic on your left. Can you see the tall steeple up ahead in the distance? That's the way we're going.
Cheapside is the former site of one of the principal produce markets in London. In medieval English, the word cheap broadly meant market. Many of the side streets are named after the produce that was once sold in those areas of the market, including Honey Lane, Milk Street, Bread Street and Poultry.
Dickens's son, Charles Dickens Junior, wrote in his 1879 book Dickens's Dictionary of London. He says: "Cheapside remains now what it was five centuries ago, the greatest thoroughfare in the City of London. Other localities have had their day, have risen, become fashionable, and have sunk into obscurity and neglect, but Cheapside has maintained its place, and may boast of being the busiest thoroughfare in the world, with the sole exception perhaps of London Bridge." The markets have been replaced by coffee shops and shopping malls and the only building Dickens would recognise is St Mary le Bow.
Keep going. I'll meet you just up ahead.