My office used to be based at Laystall Street in Clerkenwell. I really liked the area – nice local vibe, good pubs, tasty food, and thew bus ride was alright as well.
Recently was chatting to someone in the office, and they said that in olden times, Londoners used to dump their waste in the river Fleet. This used to to be carried along on the flow from Hampstead down to the Thames. Along the way the river passed through Holborn, and here, it deposited all the crap in what became known as “Lay Stool” Street. Hence, Laystall Street – geddit? I laughed at this, thinking it to be a windup…
Today I was reading London – The Biography by Peter Ackroyd, and on page 339 it says, “Public dumps were known as lay-stalls and there is still a Laystall Street in Clerkenwell.”
It’s a funny old world – I love finding out stuff like that about London.
Here’s a picture of Shit Street.