Drury Lane

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For other uses, see Drury Lane (disambiguation).
Drury Lane looking south from Long Acre towards Aldwych
Oxfam shop on Drury Lane
Drury Lane and surrounding streets

Drury Lane is a street on the eastern boundary of the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. The northern part is in the borough of Camden and the southern part in the City of Westminster.

It took its start from the west end of Wych Street, redeveloped in the later 19th century as Aldwych. The lane led to the house built by Sir William Drury, Knight of the Garter in Queen Elizabeth's reign. Drury House, with a coachyard in front and a garden in back, was a scene of the intrigues that led to the ill-fated rebellion of the Queen's favourite, the Earl of Essex. In the 17th century it was the London house of the Earl of Craven, then a public house under the sign of his reputed mistress, the Queen of Bohemia, but by the 18th century Drury Lane had become one of the worst slums in London, dominated by prostitution[1] and gin palaces. The area was eventually cleared to make way for the developments of Kingsway and Aldwych.

The name of the street is often used to refer to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which has in different incarnations been located in Drury Lane since the 17th century, even though today the main entrance is on Catherine Street. Also in Drury Lane is the New London Theatre.

The street Drury Lane is where The Muffin Man lives as mentioned in the popular nursery rhyme, and also where the harlot of William Hogarth's A Harlot's Progress practises her profession.

173 Drury Lane was the location of the first J Sainsbury store, now one of the UK's largest retailers. The store was opened in 1869.[2]

191 Drury Lane was the location of the Workers' Educational Society in 1847/48. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sir Richard Steele in The Tatler (No. 46) gives a picture of Drury Lane as a district divided into particular "ladyships," analogous to "lordships" in other places, "over which matrons of known ability preside."
  2. ^ Covent Garden and Holborn Young Trails - Camden Council, 2006 (booklet)
  3. ^ The Communist League Marx/Engels Internet Archive

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′54″N 0°07′22″W / 51.51500°N 0.12278°W / 51.51500; -0.12278