Category Archives: discovering london on foot

Shakespeare and London

12th September 2013 – I’ve just got back from a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of the London Metropolitan Archives (www.cityoflondon.go.uk/lma), organised by the London Historians (www.londonhistorians.org).
The highlight was the “Shakespeare and London” exhibition, which features not only “The Shakespeare Deed”, a property deed signed by Shakespeare (one of only six surviving examples of his signature), but also other documents from his lifetime, along with maps, photographs, prints and models which explore his relationship with London.  The exhibition runs until 26thSeptember 2013.

Lost City of London found in the Ether!

Unbeknownst to us, (don’t publishers tell authors such things?) the book that started all this was released as a Kindle edition back in March!
We’ve recently had a look at it on both a tablet and an old-style kindle and are very pleased with the electronic edition. It seems very good value at just £6.76, and is easy to use, particularly when viewed on a tablet (the colour plates are zoomable).

Here is a link to the Kindle edition page on Amazon.co.uk

 

Property Boundary Markers

I’ve had a number of questions about property boundary markers recently.
 
 
Most of those I’ve seen in and around the City of London have been parish boundary markers.  The most common types of these are brass plaques affixed to buildings, typically a little above head height – here are some examples:
 
St Katherine Cree
St Lawrence Jewry

St Mary Le Strand
St Stephen Coleman Street
St Clement Danes
 
(The anchor on the St Clement Danes plaque, the Katharine Wheel on the St Katharine Cree one, and the gridiron on the St Lawrence Jewry one, allude to the respective methods by which the nominate saints were martyred; the encircled cockerel on the St Stephen Coleman Street plaque, alludes  to the “La Cokke on the Hoop” brewery that stood on Coleman Street in the fifteenth century). 
 
 
 
At least one that I’m familiar with, though, is in the form of a carved inscription more or less at street level 
Christ Church (and St Sepulchre)
And another is reminiscent of a milestone.
St Clement Danes and St Dunstan in the West
 
 
Brass shields bearing coats-of-arms also mark the boundaries of the properties of the livery companies. 
Armorers’ and Brasiers’ Company
 
Readers interested in further information are referred to the following web-site:

Walking in Chilly Weather

Today Bob discovered that it is difficult to hand around his laminated illustrations when his bare hands are numb with cold!

It really was horribly chilly today. Fortunately everyone was well wrapped up (apart from Bob’s hands, that is!)

Highlights of today’s Tower to Temple walk included:

– a helpful explanatory compass just outside Tower Hill station, giving a good preliminary over-view of the sights to come

– the Whitefriars monastery: tucked away where you’d never expect to find it!

– the London stone (hidden in clear view)

-the Monument (some decided to make a return visit after the walk finished, to climb up to the top for the excellent views!)

– exploring inside the Inns of Court

Unfortunately the Roman Amphitheatre, under the Guildhall Art Gallery, was unexpectedly closed to visitors today, due to a rehearsal of some kind (not mentioned on their website – grrrrr!) Everyone strained for a glimpse through the glass doors to the Amphitheatre basement, and had to make do with that for today. Such a shame. Here’s hoping those on today’s walk will take the opportunity to make a return visit another time.

A running joke with today’s group was the plethora of vanished churches along the route – marked only by plaques or parish boundary markers. That’s the Great Fire for you – it really did wipe out a lot of buildings!

But various street names, many surviving from medieval times, did provide interesting glimpses of that long-gone London. For example, today’s group were interested to learn that Cannon Street’s name has nothing to do with artillery, stemming instead from the name of the local trade conducted there way back in 1183…. Any guesses?