Back lane

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A back lane is a roadway often found in a planned medieval village running parallel to the main street at the other end of the Burgage plots.[1][2] There may be a back lane on each side of the main street which together with the main street itself provide a rectangular framework for the development of the village. Although the burgage plot was used for small scale activities such as livestock or orchards, the back lane frequently divided the village from the main agricultural area - such as the open fields.

The name frequently survives as a street name in a much enlarged urban settlement (there is an example in Wheldrake), although it is not uncommon for the back lane to be reduced to a narrow pathway.

A back lane, laneway, or alley is also a service, or access road behind houses, or in a commercial district, which was created for deliveries and parking, amongst other things.[3]


  1. ^ Slater, Terry R. (2004). "Planning English medieval 'street towns': the Hertfordshire evidence". Landscape History. 26 (1): 19–35. doi:10.1080/01433768.2004.10594560. ISSN 0143-3768.
  2. ^ Slater, Terry R (2004). "Planning English medieval 'street towns'" (PDF). School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences – University of Birmingham. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2004.
  3. ^ "Back Lanes". City of Surrey. Archived from the original on 2016-04-16. Retrieved 2016-04-18.