Explore the City's Ancient Alleyways in the Footsteps of Charles Dickens

    29 Apr 2016
    Clock 30min      Length1mi
    17 ratings

    Frederick's Place

    Pay wave

    Turn right into this charming dead-end enclave and stop anywhere you like for a few minutes. I'd like to tell you about it.

    This is Frederick's Place. It's like a Georgian oasis among the rather dreary buildings in Old Jewry. Here you see Adam brothers terraced houses. Note the wrought iron fanlights above the doors. Also the upturned cone shaped structures known as 'link extinguishers'. These were used by so-called 'Link Boys'. They led sedan chairs through London's dirty and dangerous streets at night carrying oil-fired torches. When they reached their location they extinguished the torch in these cones. For this they were paid one farthing which is a tenth of today's penny. These were the sort of poor children who aroused Dickens's sympathy in his novels and his charitable work as he raised money from public readings of his works.

    There is a plaque to Benjamin Disraeli on Number 6. Disraeli, like Dickens, trained as a lawyer but gave it up for greater things, eventually becoming one of Britain's greatest Prime Ministers. He was born a Jew, but his father had him christened as Jews were debarred from certain professions in the early 19th century.

    Whend you're done here, leave Frederick's Place the way we came in. Make your way out and to the right. As you do, note the red Victorian Post Box on the right which would have been there in Dickens's time.

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