Denmark Street “fronts St. Giles Church and falls into Hog Lane, a fair broad street, with good houses well inhabited by gentry” (Strype).
This description is no longer applicable. Denmark Place was once Dudley Court, and the house here with a garden was given by the Duchess of Dudley as a rectory for the parish. The Court or Row was built on the site of the house previous to 1722.
Broad Street is one of the most ancient streets in the parish, and there were a few houses standing on the north side when the rest of the district was open ground. It was the main route westward for many centuries, until New Oxford Street was made.
The procession from Newgate to Tyburn used to pass along Broad Street, and halt at the great gate of the hospital, in order that the condemned man might take his last draught of ale on earth.
An enterprising publican set up a tavern near here in 1623, and called it the Bowl. He provided the ale free, and no doubt made much profit by the patronage he received thereby. The exact site of the tavern was in Bowl Yard, which ran into Broad Street near where Endell Street now is. Among Cruikshank’s well-known drawings is a series illustrating Jack Sheppard’s progress to the gallows.
The parish almshouses were built in the wide part of Broad Street on ground granted by Lord Southampton, but were removed as an impediment to traffic in 1783 to the Coal Yard, near the north of Drury Lane.
A row of little alleys – Salutation, Lamb’s, Crown, and Cock – formerly extended southward over the present workhouse site.
There are still one or two small entries both north and south. The immense yard of a well-known brewery fills up a large part of the south side, and a large iron and hardware manufactory on the north gives a certain manufacturing aspect to the street.
The Holborn Municipal Baths are in a fine new building on the south side.
About High Street, which joins Broad Street at its west end, there is surely less to say than of any other High Street in London.
In 1413 the gallows were set up at the corner where it meets Tottenham Court Road.
But even previously to this executions had taken place at Tyburn, and soon Tyburn became the recognised place of execution.
Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, is the most notable name among the victims who suffered at St. Giles.
He was hung in chains and roasted to death over a slow fire at this spot as a Lollard.
After they had been removed from the end of Broad Street, to make way for the almshouses, the parish pound and cage stood on the site of the gallows until 1765.
There was here also a large circular stone, where the charity boys were whipped to make them remember the parish bounds.