The southern part is a continuation of the short John Street
, which comes off Theobalds Road
. The northern part crosses Guilford Street
and ends at Mecklenburgh Square
The street contains mainly grade II listed Georgian houses built between 1790 and the 1840s. Many of the houses have been converted into offices and are popular with companies in the legal profession and the media. In the last few years, many of these have been converted back to family homes.
In the nineteenth century, it was an exclusive residential street and had gates at either end to restrict entry and these were manned by porters.
"It was a broad, airy, wholesome street - none of your common thoroughfares, to be rattled through by vulgar cabs and earth-shaking Pickford’s vans; but a self-included property, with a gate at each end, and a lodge with a porter in a gold-laced hat and the Doughty arms on the buttons of his mulberry coat, to prevent any one, except with a mission to one of the houses, from, intruding on the exclusive territory."
The London Post Office Railway passes underneath the street, but is now disused.
A notable resident of Doughty Street was Charles Dickens. On 25 March 1837, Dickens moved with his family into No. 48 (on which he had a three-year lease at £80 a year) where he would remain until December 1839. He wrote Oliver Twist in the house. His sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth died here. This address is now a grade I listed building and has housed the Charles Dickens Museum