The Soho Grille

The grille in the centre of Charing Cross Road

If someone were to ask a cabbie for Little Compton Street, most taxi-drivers would be baffled and most likely point out to their passengers that there is an Old Compton and New Compton Street but no Little Compton Street - in which case the cabbie would technically be wrong. A map of the area in 1868 shows Little Compton Street connecting Old Compton Street with New Compton Street, before Crown Street was eaten up by Charing Cross Road and Little Compton Street disappeared completely or did it?

Looking down the grille reveals the hidden street signs

On average I would think every London taxi-driver crosses over Little Compton Street at least once a day without ever knowing it! The street is still connecting Old with New Compton Street; although it is a few feet below present-day street level, yet it can still be seen! If you were to cross Charing Cross Road between Old and New Compton you will find a metal grille in the centre island of the road and if you look closely down the grille you will see the blue tiled street name of Little Compton Street!

Map showing Little Compton Street 1870s

London Time

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