The length of the Little Streets & Lane are 1.6 km and run east/west between Spring Street in the East & Spencer Street in the West. They take their names from larger streets found in the Melbourne CBD.
Flinders Lane is north of Flinders Street. It is the closest to the Yarra River hence at the Western end many of the earlier lanes had a close connection to the docks on the river. Unfortunately many of these lanes have been lost to new buildings.
Tavistock House gave its name to the Tavistock Place. That name has been on the city register dating back before 1856.
Custom House Lane looks a lot different in 2012 then it did in the 1800s.
The reason that lanes were so named is often because of an association with a building or business nearby.
Manchester Lane, as the name suggests had a number of fabric warehouses doing business in the area during the 1850. David Mitchell's builder's yard was in Oliver Lane during the late 1800s. They were responsible for the construction of many city buildings during those years.
In 1845 the Monaghan's Queens Arms Hotel was built near here but it wasn't until 1858 that the lane was given the name Monaghan Place.
The name Staughton Alley dates back before 1856.
Howitt Lane was probably named after Dr Godfrey Howitt in the year 1905.
During World War II there was a troop entertainment centre in Duckboard Place, which is located near Duckboard House. Chapter Place was named because of its close proximity to St Paul's Cathedral.
There were once a number of factories making hats, soap and candles in Mill Place.
Looking back at the city records it should be noted that over the course of time, some lanes have had their names changed more then once.
Malthouse Lane, before 1905 was named Wilson Lane and before that it was Conquest Lane. Highlander Lane was formerly known as Bowden Lane and was renamed in 1856. Downie Street in 1905 was known as Pritchard Lane and was change to its present name in 1940. In more modern times ACDC Lane (aka) Corporation Lane was renamed in honour of a well known Australian Rock band.
LITTLE COLLINS STREET
Located between Collins Street to the South & Bourke Street to the North.
Many of the lanes in Melbourne such as McCracken's Lane were unnamed from 1855-1931. It was only when McCracken's Brewery moved into the area the lane was given a name.
Before 1943, Lang Lane was the given name of Windsor Place. It was changed because of the location of the Windsor Hotel, which is close by.
Little Collins has many lanes that date back to the 1800s. Henry Gurner was a Crown Solicitor in the 1800s and Gurners Lane was named after him.
The Union Hotel in the 1860s influenced the naming of Union Lane. In 1884 Carson Place probably had a family by the same name living or working in the area. Within the small area of Bank Place are the offices of solicitors, conveyancers, liquidators and accountants. Many years ago a Mrs Walpole's had a Typewriter office in the lane. Found off Bank Place you can find Mitre Lane. A one time owner of the Mitre Tavern John Garden provided business lunches and in basements beneath Bank Place, conveniently, there were wine merchants.
Lilly Lane was in use before 1856. After that year it was known as McIwraith Place. The Melbourne Club, which is nearby, probably had some input into the naming of this Club Lane, the lane dates back to 1884. Coats Lane is another lane that has been in use since 1875.Rainbow Alley has had the same name dating back to 1856. It is believed to be named after the Rainbow Hotel.
Bridges over Baptist Place link the Victoria Hotel, where you walk along corridors that for the space of the bridge have no rooms.Lanes were not only named after hotels. Kitz Lane came about because a wine merchant had a business in this lane during the 1900s.
Slights Lane was named after an undertaker but in 1937 the name was changed to Atheneum Place after the theatre.
It is believed that both Alfred Place and Coromandel Place were named after migrant ships that sailed the seas before 1856.
Howey Place was originally named after Henry Howey, a wealthy pastoralist and landowner.
Browns Alley, which is still marked on some maps was changed to Dame Edna Place in honour of a well known Australian personality.
LITTLE BOURKE STREET
Located between Bourke Street to the South and Lonsdale Street to the North.
Many of the named lanes within the CBD have somewhat of a mystery to their origin. A few within this section of the city I can not begin to tell you how their names came about.
Take Joseph Brian a butcher, who did business in the area in 1848. He must have been reasonable well known because they named Brian Lane after him.
The naming of Hefferman Lane, pre dates 1856 and was named after a Hotel. As was Niagara Lane. It seems a popular reason why a lane got its name.
St Patricks Alley was named after St Patrick's Hall. The alley has been registered with the city planners as far back as 1856.
Named in 1856, Staughton Place probably got its name from Simon Staughton a well known pastoralist/banker. St Patricks Alley was named after
Not so much of a mystery is the naming of Market Lane because the Eastern Market was opposite the lane in the 1860s.
The most likely reason how Bullens Lane got its name is because the company Frederick Bullen & Son conducted business in the lane during 1880.
It was first an Alley and later became Celestial Avenue, which was occupied by western tradesmen.
There were eleven houses in 1895, ten in 1935 and only six in 1965.
In 1907 Kirks Lane was given its present name. Before that it was sign posted as Vinge Alley and also as Vengeance Alley.
The area that Goldsbough Lane incorporates has changed greatly since the 1900s, when it was first named after Richard Goldsbrough.
There is very good possibility that Whitehart Lane probably was named after a lane in London, which is now home to the Tottenham Hotspur Soccer Club.
Located between Lonsdale Street to the South & Latrobe Street to the North.
In 1858 Heape Court was probably named after Henry Heape who was the owner of the company Heape & Crice.
Many lanes in the 1860s were unnamed. When the lane became Healley Lane, it stopped being an Alley, which it was previously designated.
Drewery Alley before 1872 was known as Brewery Lane. Its present name probably has some recognition to Drury Lane in London.
The name Griffin Lane pre dates 1856 and probably got its name after a hay and corn merchant, whose name was William Griffin.
Names of lanes change over the years. In this stretch of the CBD. Knox Lane became a lane in 1896 . It was once known as Partner Alley.
It is thought that Zevenboom Lane was named after John Zevenboom who was a brush manufacturer in 1916.
Queen Victoria Square is a popular square close to the old Queen Victoria Hospital.