Limited Lockup

People who visit our historic and scenic city often enjoy wandering through narrow alleys and passageways, of which there are several that we see along my walking tours of #Charleston. Among these are Stoll’s Alley, Four Post Alley and the “close” leading from Ropemaker’s Lane to Church Street (pictured here). What is interesting about them, besides their picturesque charm, is that all were initially private property that the public used frequently to walk from one area to another. South Carolina, like many states, has a unique law that states if the public uses a passageway on a regular basis for more than a year without that passage being locked, that it becomes public property. Stoll’s Alley is such a case, and this former private passageway is now public. But at Four Post Alley and the close at Ropermaker’s Lane, owners still lock the gate once each year to keep it in private hands. What is so ironic about locking the gate pictured is that pedestrians can simply walk around it and down the close, yet the formality of locking the gate technically assures it remains private. <img.src=”Charleston Alleys” alt=”Locked Passageways”

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