London’s narrowest road, which is barely 15 inches huge and has a pub on the finish


Tucked amongst the bustling bars and shops and crowds of tourists surrounding Covent Garden, you could be forgiven for missing one of London’s best kept secrets. Brydges Place is in the heart of the West End, just off St Martin’s Lane

At just 15 inches wide, it’s considered the narrowest street in the capital, and it’s home to one of the city’s most exclusive private members’ clubs. But despite the famous location, the majority of the thousands of theatergoers miss the street completely because it’s just so narrow. Brydges Place is right next to the Garrick Theatre, which is currently given away by the huge Ukrainian flag the building has affixed to its facade.

The historic theater opened in 1889 and has hosted a number of must-see shows including currently The Drifters’ Girl. The beauty of the building can hardly be overstated, but for Brydges Place its beauty is a tragedy – making it obscure except for the observant tourists and locals who know of its existence.

READ MORE: ‘I visited London’s smallest house and couldn’t even see it at first’

Local pub The Marquis borders the alley where a small number of customers can gather for a cigarette.

But the lane holds many secrets – about 30 feet it widens temporarily to house a pub, a private members’ club and a secret path to the Garrick Theater’s Royal Box. A hole in the wall in the middle of the alley provides access to a parking lot, and visitors to the box can access it directly instead of having to go through the main doors like everyone else.

Local pub The Marquis is at the opposite end of the theater in the alley, with a back door for an admittedly small group to gather and drink, smoke and chat. There is artwork on the outside walls of the pub depicting what the pub might have looked like in the past, although at night it must be hard to appreciate when most of the customers are arriving!

The sign serves to protect the old lighting and to give the alley an authentic look.

The pub has also kept an old lamp in the alley – it is unclear exactly how old the lamp is, but as the pub was established in the 18th century it is certainly an antique. A local businessman showed our reporter the sign on the lamp that read “Ancient Light.” The sign is designed to protect the light from accidental damage and to prevent the pub’s opposite neighbors from threading anything across it.

But between these two historic buildings lies a much, much more exclusive one. Brydges Place Club is a private club conveniently hidden from the prying eyes of the public.

The Private Members' Club is perfect for Garrick Theater actors to relax after a long show.

The Private Members’ Club is perfect for Garrick Theater actors to relax after a long show.

Founded in 1982, the club occupies five floors of its Georgian townhouse. The club describes itself as “a membership roster of approximately 1,300 people from all walks of life in London’s arts and literature community, with a few notables from the journalistic and legal communities”.

Their website adds: “A discreet and unrivaled relationship between members and staff is enjoyed by all and with privacy being strictly protected at all times, the West End atmosphere offers a real ‘home from home’ atmosphere!”

A theater worker who worked in the alley at the time told MyLondon the club is primarily for actors and extremely difficult to access. He added that pub patrons could often get in the way of their work if they had to walk down the alley, but said it’s still “an amazing place”.

Signs like this adorned many London streets during the Cold War.

Signs like this adorned many London streets during the Cold War.

He showed MyLondon a Peace or CND sign, which was only unveiled in recent weeks after a tenant hosed down its exterior wall. It is not known when it was dated, but it was probably painted during the Cold War.

The alley is easily accessible from the road but is best photographed during the day – it gets much busier at night.

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