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Tours > Ancient York > Snickelways

David Ford, History Editor Ancient York
by David Nash Ford BA,
Editor, History on Britannia

Between the Ouse & the Minster

A Snickelway in York Mingled in between the major streets of York are innumerable tiny alleyways, hidden away from the uninitiated. These narrow footpaths interweave between both shops and houses: shortcuts to market, business or pleasure which have survived the centuries as public rights of way. They are known as the 'snickelways'.

Some snickelways are long, like Coffee Yard (by the Red Devil on Stonegate) where Barley Hall can be found. Others are shorter; but all are narrow. The delightfully named Pope's Head Alley is only 31 inches wide! More sinister names are widespread. They include Little Thief, Mucky Peg and Mad Alice Lanes. The latter takes its name from one Alice Smith, hanged for insanity in the 1830s.

Next Stop: Barley Hall

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