Month: April 2021

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london-before-after

Charing Cross is a junction in central London where six routes meet. Clockwise from the north, these are: St Martin’s Place, the Strand, Northumberland Avenue, Whitehall, The Mall and Cockspur Street. The Grand Building (built in the 1880s) is on the right side of the photographs: it is located at the corner of Strand and Northumberland Avenue. The building in the centre of the old photograph is Morley’s Hotel. It opened in 1832 and was demolished in 1936, when it was replaced with South Africa House, which is visible in the new photograph. There is an equestrian statue of King Charles I (who reigned from 1625 to 1649) on the left side of the photographs. He is the only king of England to have been tried and executed. It was the first Renaissance-style equestrian statue in England and was commissioned by Charles’s Lord High Treasurer, Richard Weston, for the garden of his country house in Roehampton. This statue is the point from which distances from London to other places are officially measured.

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[before-after]

london-before-after

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the monarch since the reign of Queen Victoria in the 19th century, and it is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The difference between past and present is fascinating and represents the changing face of the monarchy. One hundred years ago, powerful monarchies were simply a fact of life in many countries, meaning that nobody needed to visit Britain for the experience of witnessing a royal family.
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[before-after]

london-before-after

london-before-after

The Griffin statue marks the official entrance to the City of London on Fleet Street, just outside the Royal Courts of Justice, where Fleet Street starts and the Strand ends. If you are west of the Griffin, you are in the City of Westminster, and if you are east of it, you are in the City of London. The statue was created in 1880 by the British sculptor Charles Bell Birch. The strange thing about the Griffin is that it is not a Griffin at all – it is a dragon.
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[before-after]

london-before-after

london-before-after

Bank Junction is a major road junction in the City of London, the historical and financial centre. It is named after the nearby Bank of England. Six streets converge on Bank Junction, where traffic is controlled by traffic lights and give-way lanes. Since May 2017, the junction has been closed to all vehicles except buses and bicycles from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday. The building on the right is the Royal Exchange. The original building was officially opened in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I, who awarded the building its royal title. The Great Fire of London destroyed the original building in 1666; a second complex was built on the site, designed by Edward Jarman and opened in 1669, but that also burned down. The third building, which still stands, was designed by Sir William Tite in the 1840s, and one hopes that this one will not burn down anytime soon.
The Bank of England, on the left side of the old photograph, was originally designed by Sir John Soane and built between 1788 and 1833. The building in the new photograph was designed by Sir Herbert Baker and built between 1925 and 1939, partially replacing the old building. However, Sir John’s outer wall remains in place.
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[before-after]

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Hampstead High Street is the main shopping street in Hampstead, a famous location in north London. It is served by Hampstead underground station, on the Northern Line, which is the deepest station on the underground network and has, if you are feeling energetic, 320 steps, which is a record. The underground station is located at the corner of Heath Street and High Street. Hampstead has over 75 English Heritage Blue Plaques, which mark and commemorate the many famous and prominent past residents. It is difficult to judge who is the most famous ex-resident of Hampstead, as there are so many to choose from – for example, the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the novelist John Galsworthy, the poet John Keats, the novelist DH Lawrence and the composer Arthur Bliss.
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