please empty your brain below

Come on, we don't want to encourage those people who, through snobbery or in some cases through genuine misunderstanding, insist they somehow don't live in London as their house is in, say, Bexley with a Dartford postcode, or in Chessington with a Kingston one. I'm glad you hint this in your final paragraph.

It doesn't help of course that many people still think they need to include the County in their address (Middlesex, anyone?).

Sorry to be the first of the postcode pedants on this thread.

Nice piece of detective work DG!
There's quite a long land border between W and SW: SW1, SW3, SW7 and SW10 are all north of the river.

There's even a triple-point of W, SW and WC1 - it appears to be just south of the Trocadero.
And its certainly worth a read. Now on my list to wander past next time I'm Islington-bound.
Are we now going to get a series of tours around the edges of postcode districts?

London postcode walking routes.
New word for the day: is 'psychogeographers'
I can't see it in the dictionary but it makes sense. Thanks.
@Dave: Couldn't agree more. The concept of "urban psychogeographers" got me quite excited all by itself!
A fascinating post.

I had a bit of difficulty understanding what makes these two triple points special. But the colours on DG's map make it clear. His division into compass-point postcodes is based on the first letter. So W is grouped with WC to make "West London", etc.

This system only works because "S" (not "W", for instance) is the single-letter segment omitted by the Victorians. Because of the way SE and SW are written (not ES and WS), this gap is filled tidily.

Well, I know what I mean, sorry if I haven't explained it very wonderfully.
According to Wikipedia, London used to have an 'S', it was abolished in 1868, today the 'S' is used for the Sheffield area (Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfield).

The London S sort of followed today's Northern Line in the west, then Sutton, Croydon, Addlestone in the south and Streatham and Brixton in the east. [map]
Triple points are not unusual - there are eight on DG's diagram. (Are there any quadruple points?) University College Hospital's expansion about twenty years ago means it now straddles the N/NW/WC triple point

despite being completely redundant, I often have to include the postal county in my address when computerised systems require a minimum of three lines (plus postcode)
Often combined with forms where the field for the second line doesn't accept the twenty characters required to spell out the postal town
A few years ago, there was a market researcher in Safeway (now Morrison's) Queensbury trying to find out from which postcode shoppers originated. Silly question really as said supermarket was where HA8, HA7, NW9 & HA3 met...
To the person in comment No.4: there's already a blog about London postcode walking routes:
Me two (three) re psychogeography: I now have a name for the discipline I dabbled in as a child obsessed with the world's best street directory (, and its particularly clear illustration of postcode and municipal boundaries. I was forever seeking those odd almost-enclaves: the tiny corner of a postcode area which fell in a different council area to the rest of the suburb... Quite what a ten-year-old was thinking to be doing that, even my forty-something mind does not know (but it still fascinates me!).
Claremont Square was apparently used as the basis for Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter films.
The postcode walking routes site is rather good.
Fascinating stuff DG but have you considered a little analysis of the property prices adjacent to the common point. Does say a 4 bedroom terraced house vary significantly between EC1, N1 and WC1?
The thing about postcodes that annoys me is the space. It is always the fourth-from-last character. Many computer forms require you to put it in, but satnavs typically require you to leave it out.

I think if they were redesigning postcodes, they'd make them all the same length.
Surprised to find a lot of people here unfamiliar with DG's term "psychogeography". The term is widely used by the great Iain Sinclair, a writer who is, I suspect, one of DG's heroes. I especially recommend "London Orbital", in which Sinclair walks the route of the M25, a very DG-ish jaunt!
I once lived in a flat in a corner block, with the roads on either side in different postcodes. My groundfloor flat has its front door on one street in SW2; the flat above mine had its front door on the perpendicular street which was in SW4. Which meant the building was in two postcodes simultaneously.
There used to be a pub in West Dean which had, so I'm told, one bar in Hampshire and one bar in Wiltshire. I think it's closed?
Don't know about the one in West Dean, but the Sussex/Hampshire county boundary runds through the middle of the bar in the Flying Bull at Rake, on the old A3

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