Parliament Street (Exeter) Narrowest Street in the World (20.8.2016)!


I first found this ‘street’ entirely by accident probably around ten (or more) years ago, and made a mental note to record its presence once I possessed the technology to do so.  This is ‘Parliament Street’ – the narrowest street in the world.  Although it is true that there are other contenders, I doubt any are as old as this street, or that the others are still used in an ad hoc manner, as this Devonshire alleyway still is.  In fact, other than a brass plaque – and a modern sign – no one pays this piece of history much notice today.  I believe Parliament Street is the oldest, narrowest, and still used thoroughfare in the world, which links the High Street to Waterbeer Street.  At its narrowest, it measures just 25″, and at its widest around 45″.  Its narrowest part is its entrance at the High Street end, whilst its widest section is its exit onto Waterbeer Street.  It is recorded as existing during the 14th century CE – when it was named ‘Small Street’.  Those who controlled the highly corrupt electoral system in Exeter were opposed to the 1832 Reform Act (designed to bring greater accountability and democracy to the voting process within established boroughs), and as an act of petty defiance, renamed ‘Small Street’ as ‘Parliament Street’, inferring that the British Parliament in London was narrow minded, out of touch, and redundant.









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