finding europe in london - leg 7
From: Ireland Yard
To: Holland Street (SE1 9FU)
DISTANCE: 0.6 miles
TOTAL DISTANCE: 4.7 miles
Turn right onto Ireland Yard from Friar Street - at the end follow Playhouse Yard round to the left and then turn left down Blackfriars Lane. Turn right and then cross the road at the Blackfriar pub . Run past Blackfriars station and then head over Blackfriars bridge (enjoying the view...ahhhh).
Once you're over the bridge, take the first set of stairs on your left and turn right at the bottom of them. You'll pass Blackfriars station again. Straight afterwards, take a right away from the river and along Thames Path for a hundred metres or so.
Turn left at Hoptop Street and then take the left hand fork immediately. Keep following the path and then turn right back onto Hoptop Street. In a few seconds, this will become Holland Street - your next stop.
What's it got to do with the Netherlands?
Holland Street may well have been named after a medieval brothel in Bankside, called Holland's Leaguer which was on this road. Some believe that the women of the brothel were all dutch, others say the name of the brothel-owner was 'Holland'.
This was at a time when prostitution was legalised in Southwark (if you want to know more, we do a guided tour of the area which delves into this a bit more).
The play 'Holland's Leaguer' by Shackerley Marmion was performed in the 1630s: the word 'leaguer' soon became synonymous with brothel.
The Netherlands and the EU
The Netherlands have been an EU country member since 1958 and joined the Eurozone in 1999. They have held the revolving presidency 26 times and currently holds it. The EU supports the Netherlands in a number of economic initiatives, such as helping entreprenurs and small start-ups.