Paris was the cradle of the shopping arcade (originally known as shopping palaces). Built to provide a haven for the new breed of Parisian fashionistas - away from the narrow streets without pavements and crowded with horse-traffic, amongst other things we wont mention.
Galerie d'Orleans, Paris 1828
Arcades suited the British climate. London has two fine early arcades. The Royal Opera Arcade was built by Nash and Repton in 1816-28. The elegant design with a dome over each bay was the inspiration for several others. But it was soon outshone by the outstandingly successful Burlington Arcade built in 1818-19 to the design of Samuel Ware.
Burlington Arcade, London
The Victorian imagination ran riot with the possibilities of wrought and cast iron: the County and Cross Arcades in Leeds are among the most flamboyant and Cardiff has no less than five arcades from this period.
County and Cross Arcades, Leeds
To take part simply email us with your findings, great or small to firstname.lastname@example.org the subject as 'The Secret Arcade Needs You!'