Cardinal Cap Alley

Cardinal Cap Alley is located next to the replica Shakespeare Globe theatre in Southwark, and it has a very naughty past. This alley once led to the most infamous brothel in London, known as the ‘Cardinal’s Hat’ or the ‘Cardinal’s Cap’. It is thought it was here from the 1100’s to the 1600’s.

The city of London banned brothels, theatre, bear baiting and cock fighting from it’s square mile. Therefore, Southwark become London’s naughty neighbour where you could indulge in these activities. There were once around ten brothels stood along the river including ‘The Bell’, ‘The Castle on the Hoop’, and at the end of the line was the Cardinal’s Cap.

The Cardinal’s Cap  was soon to become a nickname for the condom, which at the time was bought from a barber shop, and made from sheep intestine sewn at one side.

It was re-useable…


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