Home of the Bank of England.


"…originated as Three Needle Street (first attested in 1598), perhaps from a signboard portraying three needles, or from the three needles on the arms of needle-makers…"
Wikipedia


It's a street. In London. It's a third of a mile in length and was once the powerhouse of Britain's financial business industry. It still houses the Bank of England and the London branch of Berenberg Bank, and used to be home to the London Stock Exchange. The South Sea Company and other companies (including the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors) were also headquartered here.

These days it's pretty dull even by City standards. There are a few bars, restaurants, coffee shops and the like. The architecture is pretty impressive in that a good deal of it is older, mostly dating to the 18th century. It looks like most of old London, except the buildings are grander. Don't come looking for trees or nice people; these are prolific elsewhere in London if you know where to look (though there's allegedly a ghost, the "Black Nun").

Now, let's get rid of the Gropecunt Lane story. Whilst there was a street of that name in neighbouring Cheapside, it never applied to Threadneedle Street. Pop etymology tries to link that name with some suggestive variant of putting things into the eye of a needle. Ignore such stories unless you've seen cartographic evidence. If you find any, let me know.

Under the buildings you'll find evidence of Roman occupation; pavements and foundations abound; this was after all part of the city of Londinium. These days I'd go so far as to put the area on my list of "London Streets to avoid" unless you're a financial history geek. It's as dull as ditchwater and probably as bad for you.





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299 for Brevity Quest 2022