Hidden City: The Secret Alleys, Courts and Yards of London's Square Mile
David Long

Hidden City: The Secret Alleys, Courts and Yards of London's Square Mile

The streetscape of London’s historic square mile has been evolving for centuries, but the City’s busy commercial heart still boasts an extensive network of narrow passages and alleyways, secret squares and half-hidden courtyards.

Most are ancient survivors dating back to medieval times or earlier, their colourful and evocative names recalling old taverns, trades and City traditions. Others commemorate individuals associated with the seemingly unstoppable rise which has seen the area around an old Roman wharf become the global financial powerhouse that London is today.

Maintaining that position means that few of these old rights of way have escaped the attention of developers, but as this beautifully illustrated book shows their survival rate has been surprisingly good. Hidden behind the glass, steel and stone of the banks and big business, these fascinating, picturesque and precious survivors continue to bear witness to nearly 2,000 years of British history.

Book Details:

  • Author: David Long
  • On Submission
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: The History Press

David Long

David Long spent 25 years writing features for national newspapers and editing glossy magazines before turning to books, initially as a ghostwriter. Since then, under his own name, he is the author of many successful non-fiction titles for adults and children. With an engaging historical focus, his books have been well received by readers and reviewers alike and translated into a dozen languages. In 2017 his book Survivors was the Blue Peter Book of the Year. He lives in Suffolk, is the father of two boys, and has made regular appearances in the Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Pe...
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Book Reviews

  • "David Long’s intriguing alphabetical survey – an attempt to impose order on chaos – lists hundreds of little courtyards and alleys, many almost forgotten among the banks and businesses."
    Financial Times
  • "The best possible start for anyone who wishes to get off the beaten track and under the skin of the hidden city that is modern-day London."
    The Guardian
  • "David Long uncovers the extensive network of narrow passages and alleyways, secret squares and half-hidden courts, revealing the fascinating history of the city. Perfect for those interested in reading up on London's history and architecture."
    Britain Magazine
  • "It’s easy to get lost in this well-researched and compelling feat of superhyperlocal history."
    The Londonist