Bow Lane West runs from Bow Bridge to James’s Street along the southern side of St Patrick’s University Hospital. Bow Bridge crosses the River Camac.
Bow Lane West first appears on maps of Dublin with John Rocque’s map of 1756. Neither Bow Lane West nor Bow Bridge appear on early maps of Dublin as they lay outside the city gates. In 1862, the area was predominately tenements.
There is a small pedestrian lane that connect James’s Street on the south to Bow Lane West on the north. It was previously known as Murdering Lane or The Murd’ring Lane, and first appeared on maps in 1603, until it was renamed ‘Cromwell’s Quarters’ around 1892 when Alderman McSwiney called for the lane to be renamed in order to “preserve historical continuity”. The Cromwell in question was not Oliver Cromwell but his son Henry, who became Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1657. It is currently an unmarked pedestrian stepped alley. The lane is also locally referred to as “The Forty Steps”, even though there are only 39.