Category: West

[before-after]

london-before-after

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

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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