Category: Uncategorized

guided walks around the City of London

Letters From Arthur to Angela

When, in 1839, Britain’s much admired soldier-statesman, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, began to correspond with the richest woman in the land, Angela Burdett-Coutts, a unique friendship developed which was to impact on the lives of so many people throughout the 19th century. Their personal and trusting relationship is revealed in over 800 letters…
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Legacy of Octavia Hill

If the sun is shining and you have a Sainsbury sandwich in one hand and Costa coffee in the other, trying to find somewhere to enjoy a quiet bite outside isn’t always easy. City churchyards are favourite places to relax at lunchtime when the weather permits although finding a spare seat is a problem with…
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Wow Factor at the Walkie Talkie

You may know it as the Walkie-Talkie, a 35-storey office block designed by Rafael Vinoly, the 70-year-old Uruguayan architect who has created one of the most-talked about modern buildings in the City. Its unique shape is either loved or loathed depending on your views about the way London’s skyline is changing. There are, however, many…
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Sharing History in Shoreditch and Hoxton

Some areas on the fringes of the City of London provide rich pickings for those who like to discover the history of a place that can easily be overlooked. There are plenty of gems to find in the South Hackney Conservation area which is why the recent LONDON FOOTSTEPS walk proved so popular and rewarding.…
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Reaching Skywards

Lord Foster, Rafael Vinoly, Sir Terry Farrell, Lord Rogers, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and Renzo Piano have one thing in common. All have made significant contributions to the City skyline during their long and distinguished careers. These are the men whose architectural vision and ambitious design skills have re-shaped the City of London. They are…
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Soane’s Tomb Inspired Telephone Box Design

The link between those iconic red telephone boxes in cities, towns and villages throughout Britain and the reputation of the Georgian architect Sir John Soane is worth remembering on this day, 20th January 2015. It is the date of his death in 1837 but that was a long time before the telephone was invented. A…
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Estuary at Dusk

The River Thames is no longer the commercial life-line of London. The Docks have gone; towering office structures and apartment blocks have replaced the quayside buildings that once stored spices and cotton, spirits and sugar, timber and tobacco imported from distant parts of the Empire. This river has seen pageants, funerals and frost fairs. For…
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Red Bus Nostalgia

It’s a privilege to walk and explore the streets of this great capital but on these damp, dreary November days taking a bus can be an adventure. So my recent late afternoon journey from Fenchurch Street in the City to Barking Station on numbers 40, 115, 474 and 366 was an opportunity to share the…
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The Master Stands Tall

How can we judge the genius of Sir Christopher Wren when the evidence of his talent and architectural skills is increasingly overshadowed by the modern office blocks which are changing the City skyline? The answer is straightforward enough. Just stop and take a minute or two to admire the churches he designed and re-built which…
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Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red

The carpet of red poppies at the Tower of London is a fitting tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War. The inspiration comes from a poem found in Chesterfield Library and written by an unknown soldier who died in the trenches, How ironic that it comes at a time when…
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