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Reminders of Nell Gwynn and her friends abound in her old haunts

A stroll around London’s West End can uncover many references to Nell and her circle, some of which have been familiar to me for years but are only now revealing their meaning. The signs in the collage above were spotted at random this week and include:

The home in Pall Mall of Nell herself.

Streets in St James’s named in honour of the King (his statue stands rather appropriately perhaps in Soho Square), his brother James, Duke of York and his advisor Lord Arlington.

Streets in Covent Garden bearing the names of John Dryden, who wrote many of Nell’s greatest triumphs, Queen Catherine of Braganza, the King’s much put upon wife, and Barbara Villiers, later Lady Castlemaine of whom least said the better.

But who you may ask does Great Queen Street refer to? Well, it’s not for us to say but you can make up your own mind by coming to see “Nell Gwynn” at Haslemere Hall from Thursday 30 September to Saturday 2 October including a matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are available by using the link on the Forthcoming Productions page or phoning the Hall box office on 01428 642161.

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