Only one of these water lanes now survives, the ‘Common Hall Lane’ under the Guildhall, although it is closed to the public. The other two were bricked-up during redevelopment after the Second World War. St Martin’s Lane can still be seen on the river wall below the cinema. The third lane was called ‘Blanshard’s Lane’ and ran under the site of what is now Boots.
While residents of the street found the lanes useful, they were also a common source of problems. People used them as rubbish dumps or for hiding stolen goods, and they were often very dirty. Yet even into the last century locals would go down the lanes to swim in the river.