On this day in 1926, Vita Sackville-West wrote, in a letter to Virginia Woolf:
“… What I think of when I walk down the Strand is: how fine this would have been if Wren’s plans for rebuilding London after the Great Fire had been adopted. Steps to the river, and all that – and a broad thoroughfare … ”.
Wren’s grandiose plans for the redesigning of the layout of London after the Great Fire of 1666, if fully implemented, would have given it a radically new look and feel, much more like that of the great European cities of the day, with their uniform architecture, broad boulevards and open piazzas. But they were soon essentially abandoned on the grounds of practicality and expendiency in favour of one involving much less legal wrangling and groundwork, and much more like the old one. So in some ways the City that might have been never came to be, and that that had been would come to be again: for the most part neither particularly beautiful nor harmonious, but, rather, “lived in” and fractious; and yet, familiar and loved.
Wren’s plans for redesigning London after the Great Fire are reviewed on various of our walks, including the “Great Fire … ” themed special.
Further details of all our walks are available in the Our Guided Walks section of this web-site.
Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).