Mentioned in a 1374 as Trilmullestrete and a century later as Tryllemylstrete and in the 16th Century as Turnmelstrete. There have been a number of interpretations as to its name with some believing it means Three Mill Street after a trio of watermills along the River Fleet. A D Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names suggests it is “named from a former mill called Trillemille 1294, probably ‘mill that turns, mill with a wheel’, from Middle English mille with the verb trille ‘to turn’ or a corresponding noun meaning ‘that which turns, a mill wheel’. Whichever it is one of the oldest streets in London, Turnmill Street has been variously known as Turnmill Street, Trunball Street and Turnbull Street. During the Elizabethan era, under the name Turnbull Street, it became a byword for depravity and was notorious as a centre for crime and prostitution. One of the most disreputable streets in London at the time, it is widely referenced by many playwrights of the era.
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