Turnmill Street, EC1M

PLACE NAME

One of the oldest streets in London, mentioned in 1374 as Trilmullestrete, a century later as Tryllemylstrete and in the 16thCentury as Turnmelstrete and variously known later as Turnmill Street, Trunball Street and Turnbull Street. 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’.” 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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