Rochester Lingham

October 17, 2008 at 7:10 am (Dionysus, phallic, Rochester) ()

Lingham

Another architectural phallus tumesces appropriately on Love Lane. Such stone erections are thought by some to be connected to ancient Priapic worship, the male principle deified.

The name Love Lane appears frequently in different cities, often so named for their brothels: “in the Middle Ages the wanton women of the City gathered in [Love Lane near Aldermanbury], seeking customers, and the street thereby acquired its name” (Smith, Al. Dictionary of City of London Street Names. New York: Arco, 1970). Similarly, The London Encyclopedia cites the latter Love Lane as having been “a haunt of prostitutes in the Middle Ages” (Weinreb, Ben, and Christopher Hibbert. The London Encyclopedia. New York: St. Martin’s, 1983.). Gillian Bebbington in London Street Names corroborates this point, citing Stow in her description of Love Lane between Wood Street and Aldermanbury as a place frequented by “‘wantons’”.

As naval towns Rochester and Chatham were rife with prostitution as documented in Brian Joyce’s The Chatham Scandal: A history of Medway’s prostitution in the late 19th century

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