I took a different route to Moorfields this week and passed by a road named "Peerless Street". Was this named on account of some long-forgotten council official having a little joke at the expense of us Moorfields eye patients?
Well, it's not actually, but still a bizarre and possibly interesting story:
Peerless Street is more of a disguise than an indication of any superlative quality. The name comes from a spring that overflowed and formed a pond – Perilous Pond – so-called, says Stow, because “divers youths, by swimming therein, have drowned”. The pond, with its unfortunate propensity for drowning people, was finally closed off. In 1743, William Kemp, a jeweller, converted the pond to a luxury swimming bath with a well-stocked fish pond next to it. The path alongside the bath was called Peerless Row and later became Peerless Street. The pool was closed in 1850 and then built over.
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