I had always wanted to visit Wells, I’m no Christian as you’ll know. I hate organised religion, but I am passionate about Churches. I am also passionate about popping anyone’s bubble when it comes to being prudish or whenever they say that Britain has gone to hell. Britain has never been this idyllic paradise that the Daily Mail readers seem to think and in Mediaeval Times we weren’t so squeamish about naming streets by what went on there.
Imagine my delight when I bought Mike Parker’s new book Map Addict, yes I’m a map addict too. In it was a Mediaeval map of Wells showing a very interestingly named street… I had to find it.
We found Union Street easily and I was amused to find this bit of history. As well all know the truth is easily manipulated and what is missing from the aetiology is the word CUNT. In the Mediaeval there were a number of lanes named after what went on there – namely prostitution and I suppose the groping of cunts. A trade that wasn’t hidden, denied and decried as it is today. If you rode into town then, tired dirty and in need of a shag – well head off for Gropecunt Lane… you’re bound to be satisfied. I guess they weren’t too bothered by a dose of the clap either!
Back to some more traditional views of Wells.