St. Dunstan-in-the-East

St. Dunstan-in-the-East was a church in the City of London, built in 1100, extended in the fourteenth century and repaired just over thirty years before the Great Fire of London, after which a large steeple to a design by Sir Christopher Wren was added. Despite largely surviving the fire, the structure was found to be unsafe in the…

St. Dunstan-in-the-East

The Monument, London

Although there are plenty of monuments (with a small “m”) around London, there is only one Monument (with a large “M”): that to the Great Fire of London. The Great Fire of London, which raged through 400 acres of the city within the original Roman walls in September 1666, destroyed almost 90% of the city and left most of…

The Monument, London

The View from The Shard

Visitors to London can buy tickets to ascend The Shard by express lift and enjoy the views across London from near the top of Western Europe’s tallest building. I received a ticket as a gift last year and so when I was in London a few weeks ago, I organized to visit. The view from the largely glass…

The View from The Shard

Jemima’s Journey Through Switzerland

British Pathé was a leading news service in the earlier part of the twentieth century, when people would visit a picture house (or cinema) to see the latest news reels, instead of seeing them in the comfort of their own homes. British Pathé completed their YouTube channel this week and amongst around 85,000 films now online for free, there…

Jemima’s Journey Through Switzerland

Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre has long been one of the places to which I return when in London, thanks to a proliferation of arts venues, large spaces free of traffic, plenty of street performers, and a wide range of nooks, crannies, corners and walls in which light – both natural and artificial – are constantly changing. Although the…

Southbank Centre

Borough Market

The marketplace beneath the big railway viaduct near The Shard is Borough Market: one of London’s oldest. According to its own self-promotion, the market dates back to the twelfth century, when it was located at the southern end of the original London Bridge. Traders travel from far and wide to visit the market; a close friend of the…

Borough Market

St. Mary-le-Bow

The church of St. Mary-le-Bow in London sits halfway between St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England, on the historic road known as Cheapside. The church is widely accepted by many Londoners as being the true centre of London: tradition indicates that in order to be a true “Cockney” (Londoner), one must have been born within the sound…

St. Mary-le-Bow

Bonnington Square Garden, Vauxhall

The plot of land which has become Bonnington Square Gardens was cleared by a bomb during the Second World War and stood empty until the 1970s, when the local council made a weak attempt at turning it into a playground, before abandoning it to wild grass and stinging nettles. The council were reminded of its existence in the 1990s and…

Bonnington Square Garden, Vauxhall

Whitechapel Road

There’s plenty of history within a short distance of this part of Whitechapel; the next on my short list is at the junction of Fulbourne Road, in the midst of the Whitechapel Market. The upstairs rooms of a building adjacent to the thriving street market on this junction – now a clothing store with a snooker club upstairs – was…

Whitechapel Road

259 Whitechapel Road

Whitechapel is best known in history for scenes of violence, crime and poverty: from Jack the Ripper in the Victorian era to the Kray twins in the 1960s. Founded in the twelfth century, Whitechapel was historically a poor and working-class neighbourhood where the less salubrious businesses in the city found their homes; tanneries, breweries and slaughterhouses. Today,…

259 Whitechapel Road

Blackfriars Road station

What remains of the original Blackfriars station on the Charing Cross railway in London – this signage – was restored in 2005, and is clearly visible within a short distance of the current Tube station at Southwark. The site of the station, now referred to as Blackfriars Road in order to avoid confusion with the modern Blackfriars station on…

Blackfriars Road station

White Hart Dock, London

Walk along the north side of the river Thames at Lambeth and only the comparatively new wooden boat sculptures will even make you notice White Hart Dock. It’s an enclosed pool of tidal water, fed from the river, which dates back to the 14th century. Now filled with little else than rubbish, it was once the river access point…

White Hart Dock, London

Black Prince Road

I have spent a lot of time walking around London over the past week, with the intention of finding new sights and things of interest instead of just repeating the same old sights I’ve seen and visited a million times before. One of them was unexpected, as I walked from Stockwell back to the West End: Black Prince Road…

Black Prince Road