The Old Curiosity Shop, standing
just off Lincoln Inn's Fields, is claimed to be the inspiration
behind Charles Dickens' famous novel of the same name.
Although this may, or may not
be, true, the building, which dates from around 1567, is almost
certainly the oldest shop in central London. Now protected
by a preservation order, the building, with its overhanging
upper storey, gives visitors an idea of how a London street
would have appeared before the Great Fire of 1666.