Charing Cross to the Adelphi, London
Where you emerge from the Arches into Villiers Street there is a stairway to an upper level walkway from which this picture was taken. This is looking towards the Charing Cross Station end.
This same high level walkway joins up with the Golden Jubilee Bridge which goes across the Thames to near the Royal Festival Hall.
Walk up to where you can see the bridge crossing over the road.
|More of Villiers Street.
On the sign it says 'formerly Of Alley' and there's a story behind that. This area was originally sold by the Duke of Buckingham for development in 1674 but with the proviso that all the streets in the area bore the name of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. Therefore we have Villiers Street, George Court, Duke Street and Buckingham Street. But the Duke's name had to be used in its entirety so we also had 'Of Alley' renamed in the 20th century to York Place. Now walk along York Place.
At the end of York Place turn right down to John Adam Street then turn left.
There are some grand and impressive buildings to look at along here but look out for a turning on the right called York Buildings. Turn into York Buildings and just a few yards down on the left-hand side is a dark opening with a road descending into the depths.
This opening looks rather like the entrance to an underground car park but on the walls are road signs saying 'Lower Robert Street' showing that it is, in fact, a public road.
This is all that remains of the Adelphi Arches. There is a narrow path down the left-hand side and the road is used by traffic so take care. We managed without any problems at all and a number of taxis and vans passed us on the way. The lower part is well lit and daylight is visible at the far end.
Looking back from the lower level and there is a story behind this. The Adelphi Arches were roads and cellars built under the Adelphi buildings and were meant for storage but became the haunt of many unsavoury characters. Corpses were found in the last century and when the owners decided to clear the site in 1930 they discovered inhabitants whos existence had never been suspected including one old lady who was keeping cows down there. The majority of the Adelphi Arches were demolished with the main Adelphi building in 1936 although a small part of the building remains.
After emerging from Lower Robert Street turn left along Savoy Place. A short way along you can walk through these arches at the back of the current Adelphi building starting at Ivybridge Lane. This lane is now private and gated so you can't walk along it but the entrance to these arches is very obvious.
This view is from the far end looking back the way we had come. These arches lead into Carting Lane.