Messaline Avenue, E3

Place Name

Said to be one of only two streets in the UK to be named after an opera. It was laid out in 1899 by James de Lara Cohen who had inherited the Friars Place estate from his late father-in-law Henry Emanuel. De Lara’s brother was the composer Isadore de Lara whose work based on the story of the Roman emperor Claudius’s promiscuous wife Messalina had recently opened in Monte Carlo and Covent Garden. Because the opera was in French the name was spelt Messaline.

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