I haven't been sleeping very well these last few nights. This medieval lane runs below and right at the back of our compact but adorable city apartment, right along the perimeter of the old city wall. Our rooms are about 50 feet away from it.
The police dubbed it 'Slippery Lane' due to - yes, you guessed it - it's slipperiness, caused by the lack of footfall which allows the algae and pigeon shit to accumulate on the ancient flag stones. There are plenty of pigeons still flapping around down there, and it is a favourite place for hawks to eat their kills in peace, because the public no longer have access.
It leads to the river - or it used to, before more building work in the early nineteenth century. Those blocked off doors and windows date from the seventeenth century.
It's real name is 'Ducking Stool Lane', because - as you might also guess - this was the way down to the river and the ducking-stool torture inflicted on witches and (more likely) 'cuckolds' who the male elders of the City of Bath managed to get convicted. Think Vincent Price. Think Civil War.
That old door at the end of the lane leads to the hidden, underground and late medieval street I have been telling you about. In the good old days, when men were men and witches were witches (or cuckolds), access to the river bank and the chair would have been unhindered.
You may not know it, but you have probably seen this desolate little lane many times before. It used to be a favourite spot for film locations of the 'Jack the Ripper' variety.
I'll let you know when I go down into the hidden street - as I most surely will. It is owned by a property developer, and I will not let him rest until I have been down and photographed it.
This is where I live. I have a right to go down there - don't I?