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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Four Minute Mile in 18th Century
Could the first four minute mile have been completed here?
Location: Hackney Road, Shoreditch
Description: St Leonard's Church (sometimes called Shoreditch Church) dates from about 1740. The church is mentioned in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.
James Parrott a costermonger is reputed on 9 May 1770 to have run a four minute mile. His route began at the wall of the Charterhouse off Goswell Road, before crossing and turning down Old Street, finishing at St Leonard's, Shoreditch.
Although timing methods at this time were accurate enough, following the invention of the chronometer by John Harrison, to measure the four minutes correctly, and sporting authorities of the time accepted the claim as genuine, the record is not recognised by modern sporting bodies.