London Walks for Londoners

 

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The Text on the Monument

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Thursday, March 11, 2021, In : Art 

The Monument was built between 1671-1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London of 1666 which ended up destroying four-fifths of the city. It is a column standing on a very large pedestal, some 20 feet high, much of which is covered in dense Latin writing.

This goes unremarked today, partly because so few of us read Latin. Then as now only a minority of people would be able to read it, even if in the 17th century Latin was a more important language and in theory if you were a gentleman it was...


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Lime Street’s Brief Moment of Catholicism

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Thursday, November 5, 2020,

Lime Street does not have much of historical interest today. It is dominated by two pieces of well-known modern architecture: the Lloyd’s Building, designed by Richard Rogers, and the Willis Building by Foster and Partners. Otherwise, it is undistinguished. In the late seventeenth century, however, this small City lane briefly became the site of religious controversy.


Here in 1686 for the first time since the reign of Queen Mary a Catholic place of worship was opened in England. The new chap...


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The Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Greenwich 

London does not really do triumphal architecture in the way continental cities do. It has grown up piecemeal, with a belief in private enterprise, suspicion of autocratic government, and a relatively impecunious monarchy.


Greenwich is in some ways the exception, and one of the best views in all of Britain is to be had looking south at it from Island Gardens on the north bank of the Thames, or better still, as it was meant to be seen, from a boat on the river. It is undeniably grand. However, g...


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