St Valentine, St Catherine, and ferris wheels



Catherine of Alexandria

14 February is St Valentine’s Day so it would be a good day for talking about Bleeding Heart Yard, which has to be one of London’s best street names; certainly good enough for Charles Dickens to devote an entire chapter to the yard in Little Dorrit. We jumped the gun in this blog by discussing the yard elsewhere, with the traditions behind the name, including the one of a beautiful gypsy who was carried off by the devil.

So, as someone (who does decide these things) has decreed 14 February to be Ferris Wheel Day as well as Valentine’s Day, it seems a good time to talk about Catherine Wheel Alley in Bishopsgate. (Incidentally, though it make sense for Ferris Wheel Day to be connected to Catherine, it commemorates the birthday of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, an American engineer who created the first ferris…

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