Along the bustling high street in Exeter, England, this tiny passage is easily missed. It’s one of the smallest streets in the country, at 25 inches at its narrowest point. It’s also a useful shortcut!
According to a nearby plaque, the city claims this is the narrowest street in the world (though this claim has been disputed). It is, though, the narrowest street in Britain.
The passageway was built sometime during the 14th century. Up until the 1700s, it was common for people to dump their chamber pots into the street. It was called Small Lane before the city gave it its current moniker.
Parliament Street received its name during the 19th century. Supposedly, the city council gave it the new name to express its displeasure at Parliament passing the 1832 Reform Act, which was meant to increase (male) citizens’ voting rights.
Locals once raised funds to petition to have the street widened, but alas, construction never began and the small street is just as thin as ever.
Visit England with Atlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.