Esoteric London

No. 602: Rising Sun Court, EC1

Posted in Housing, Pubs by esotericlondon on June 19, 2012

Rising Sun Public House, Rising Sun Court, London, EC1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Ragged London in 1861 – John Hollingshead, 1861:

The evils of overcrowding in courts and alleys are, unhappily, not confined to the eastern end of the metropolis. There are almost as many dark holes and corners within a few yards of Regent Street or Charing Cross, which shelter almost as much sickness, crime, and poverty, as any back hiding-places in Whitechapel or Bethnal Green. We may have all hurried for years along the bright open highways, scarcely glancing at the little doorways scattered here and there between the busy shops, and yet these doorways – holes – call them by what name we will – are the entrances to many thousands of closely-packed homes. These human dwellings – human in little else but the old familiar house shape – in old central neighbourhoods, like St. James’s, Westminster, form square openings, reaching up to the little patch of heaven overhead, like the shaft of a mine. The air in them is close and heavy, and they are dark on the clearest day. The infants and mothers suffer because they cannot escape from them; the elder children, as soon as they are able to run, desert them from instinct, and find more comfort in the gutters and streets; and the men leave them to seek for warmth and cheerfulness in the neighbouring tavern.

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