Biggin Street takes its name from the Biggin Gate in the old town wall. The street runs from the site of this gate (at the north-west corner of St Mary’s Churchyard) to the Maison Dieu. The Biggin Gate was demolished in 1762 as the old gateway was so narrow an 18th century stagecoach could hardly pass through. Two of the town’s oldest and most historic buildings, the Maison Dieu and Maison Dieu House, are on Biggin Street, together with the town’s War Memorial.For centuries Biggin Street was the main road out of the town to Canterbury and London, although in places it was very narrow. In the last week of May 1893 a traffic census was taken in the street during which time 9,440 ordinary light and heavy vehicles, 908 cycles and bath chairs and 446 horses, passed along the street. Of this 10,794, all passed through the narrowest part of the street, 6,749 continued up past the Maison Dieu, with the remaining 4,045 turning up Folkestone Road. This number would not have been so bad if it was spread evenly over the day but most of the traffic was crowded into two hours every day.The street was so narrow in places that a hand cart parked in the road or a goods vehicle delivering to a shop could cause a line of traffic to build up the length of the street. The decision was made by the Corporation to widen the road by demolishing the buildings on the western side of the street and rebuilding further back allowing a more convenient width of road. Many of these late Victorian buildings survive, and Biggin Street now forms the main shopping street of the town.