WHAT THE DICKENS!
Keen readers of Charles Dickens will recognise this historic street.
Minor Canon Row features in the final and unfinished novel he was writing in 1870 called The Mystery of Edwin Drood just before his death in June that year. Within it the street is referred to as ‘Corner’ rather than ‘Row’. The novel is set in the fictitious town of Cloisterham – a lightly-disguised Rochester. It was a city Dickens knew well after living there for 10 years prior to his death, and which featured in two of his other novels; The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations.
In The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dickens says “Minor Canon Corner was a quiet place in the shadow of the Cathedral, which the cawing of the rooks, the echoing footsteps of rare passers, the sound of the Cathedral bell, or the roll of the Cathedral organ, seemed to render more quiet than absolute silence”.
Minor Canon Row was built in 1723 to house minor clergy working at the cathedral next door and, after later falling into disrepair, was bought by a trust in 2008 and restored in 2011. One of the houses is now for sale.
Grade I listed No.2 Minor Canon Row which was also the childhood home of Shakespearean actress Sybil Thorndike, is on the market for £1.125 million. It has four bedrooms, two reception rooms, two bathrooms, a games room and a garage – useful in a city with tight parking restrictions. More information from Jackson-Stops (020 7664 6646).