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Two people cannot easily pass in Parliament Street

Parliament Street is a 50-metre (160 ft) long street in the city of Exeter, Devon, England. It links the High Street to Waterbeer Street and dates from the 14th century. At about 0.64 metres (2 ft 1 in) at its narrowest and approximately 1.22 metres (4 ft 0 in) at its widest, it has been claimed to be the world's narrowest street,[1] although this title actually belongs to the Spreuerhofstraße in Reutlingen, Germany.[2]

It was formerly called Small Lane and was renamed when Parliament was derided by the city council for passing the 1832 Reform Bill.[3] It was called Parliament Alley, immediately after the name change from Small Lane. The authorities and some of the public thought that an alley was "too common", for some reason, so it was changed to Parliament Street circa 1850. Today it attracts tourists, who have no idea that in reality it is only an alley or alleyway. In 1836 the residents of Waterbeer Street subscribed £130 to have Parliament Street widened, but nothing was done about this.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Exeter Places To See - Buildings". ExeterViews. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Tourismus-Reutlingen: An eye of a needle with world fame". StaRT Reutlingen. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Exeter Memories - Parliament Street". Exeter Memories. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  4. ^ Hoskins, W. G. (2004). Harvey, Hazel (ed.). Two Thousand Years in Exeter (Revised and updated ed.). Chichester: Phillimore. p. 166. ISBN 1-86077-303-6.

Coordinates: 50°43′23″N 3°31′56″W / 50.72304°N 3.53230°W / 50.72304; -3.53230