Cromer Street, WC1H

Place Name

When it was first laid out in 1801 this was called Lucas Street after its once landowner Joseph Lucas (hence the Lucas Arms on the corner), a tin-plate worker, who owned a seven-acre estate in the north-east corner of Bloomsbury. Up until its development it had been fields. The street led from Gray’s Inn Road to an old country beerhouse and skittle ground called the Golden Boot, the predecessor of the Boot pub. John Rocque’s 1746 maps shows only a bowling green; Horwood’s 1799 plan shows the bowling green, rural dwellings and Bowling Green House; on the revised 1819 version of his plan, the Boot pub appears. Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names picks up the story, “the Boot had gained a certain notoriety some years earlier when the ringleaders of the Gordon Riots met there with the landlord, Mr Speedy – the Speedy family held the licence until the twentieth century, and there is still Speedy Place beside the Boot in Cromer Street – and only thirty years after Lucas Street was built, its reputation was so bad that its name had to be changed, and the neutral Cromer, after a town in Norfolk, was chosen.”




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