The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 19 From Charing Cross To St Paul's Cathedral

Fetter Lane

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FETTER LANE, diverging to the north beyond St. Dunstan's and leading to Holborn, derives its name either from the �faitours� (i.e. beggars) with which it used to swarm, or from a colony of �feutriers� (felt-makers). This street passes the east sides of Clifford's Inn and the Public Record Office; the porter's lodge at the entrance to the latter is sometimes described as �the smallest house in London.� Farther on is the Moravian Chapel (No. 32; reached by a passage), built before the Great Fire of 1666. In Bream's Buildings, a narrow street to the left, is Birkbeck College, founded in 1823 as a scientific and technical institute, but now a school (for evening and part-time students) of the University of London. In Fleur-de-Lis Court to the east of Fetter Lane, is Newton Hall, for several years the meeting place of the branch of Positivists established in 1881 by Mr. Frederic Harrison, Dr. Bridges, and Prof. Beesly. Dryden is said to have lived at No. 16 in this court, pulled down in 1887. Otway was a resident in Fetter Lane, and here Captain Lemuel Gulliver was assigned residence and property by Swift.