The Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is known as the Royal Mile or High Street. Small alleyways and courtyards connect the surrounding streets. Allies are after memorable occupants or a trade of one the residents. A gated Alley was called a Close, derived from ˈkloʊs/, a Scots term for alleyway. Closes tend to be narrow with tall buildings on either side which protected the occupants from attack.
Public thoroughfare were called Wynds and were wide enough for a horse and cart.
Alleyways slope down from the Royal Mile. In the old days this helped to carry waist waters way from town. Many alleys are now long flights of stairs.