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31 results for hidden london found within the Blog

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Tunnelling South

Posted by fairbankguy on 14th January 2018 in History | empire windrush,clapham,underground,tube,hidden london,blitz
Thanks to london Transport Museum’s hidden london programme, a number of lost Tube stations and forgotten tunnels are occasionally open to the public. One such gem is Clapham South’s deep-level shelter. Descending 180 steps and 36m down you get to an engineering marvel: a series of tunnels built during World War Two to protect london’s citizens during the Blitz. At the height of the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids the Government commissioned 8 shelters, capable of holding some 64,000 citizens and well away from any potential raid. They employed miners to hand dig 2x 30m vertical shafts down. Then the miners created 2 horizontal shafts, each o...
 

Bath time, Londinium style

Posted by fairbankguy on 1st May 2017 in History | archaeology,city-of-london,roman
Under an undistinguished office block in Lower Thames Street, opposite the Custom House and below St Dunstan-in-the-East lies a hidden gem of Roman london: a Roman house and bathhouse. It lies some way back from the river but in its heyday this building complex would have overlooked the River Thames from its hillside location. It may have been a ‘mansio’, which offered comfortable accommodation to officials - a bit like the nearby Premier Inn! When you venture down there’s a surprising amount to see. What survives are the north and east wings of the L-shaped house but there’s no trace of the west wing. The east side was kept warm with u...
 

All Aboard the Mail Rail!

Posted by fairbankguy on 4th October 2017 in Automotive | mail-rail,post-office,royal-mail,underground
The Mail Rail once transported letters and parcels from Paddington Station to as far as the Tower of london. When it closed in 2003 after more than 75 years’ service the Post Office were stuck with what to do with it. Ideas varied from converting it to a subterranean cycle lane to creating an extensive mushroom farm. But then they thought: why not open it to the public?  london’s newest attraction opened in 3 years ago and has already proved popular. Discovering a part of hidden london is always exciting and this journey under the streets of london is no exception. You travel about 1.6km along the tracks, at no great speed but enough for younge...
 

hidden london

Posted by fairbankguy on 5th March 2016 in History |
    In an anonymous-looking warehouse in Hackney you’ll find the Museum of london Archaeology Archives. And behind the brick and steel building in N1 I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a tour, led by two enthusiastic volunteers. Here are all manner of finds, from masses of bones to shards of pottery and large items deemed to big to store, are safely stored in buff-coloured boxes, clearly labelled. When anything is found at a dig they are deemed either ‘registered’ - of significant interest or man-made - or ‘general’, for items like broken shards or fragments of bone. Whenever a developer wants to build a new structure they have to...
 

A Bit of Bishopsgate

Posted by Guy Fairbank on 5th March 2020 in Design | Bishopsgate,Victoria and Albert Museum,V&A,Pre-Great Fire buildings,Paul Pindar,Medieval houses,Stuart,Great Fire
Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington and, among its many treasures, you’ll find a rare survival of pre-Great Fire architecture from the City of london. Peter Pindar’s house originally stood on Bishopsgate, about where Liverpool Street Station now stands. When the station was developed the Chairman and Directors of the Great Eastern Railway Company gave it to the museum.  It’s made of oak and dates from around 1600, when merchant Paul Pindar had it built - more of him later. The impressive full-height windows would have originally been glazed, either with imported glass or local greenish glass. The semi-circular window shap...
 

hidden Coade in the City

Posted by fairbankguy on 5th April 2018 in Design | coade,coade-stone,tours,walks,mrs coade,skinners company,lambeth,watermen,vintners,lion brewery,twinings
How many times have you crossed Westminster Bridge and gazed up at the large Lion Brewery feline on the southern end of the bridge? Or admired the two Chinese figures above the doorway to Twining’s in the Strand? Both sculptures were the product of a remarkable businesswoman by the name of Eleanor Coade. She was born in 1733 in Devon, the daughter of an unsuccessful wool merchant. In her thirties she headed for london and began to set up her own drapery business. She added the title ‘Mrs’ as a courtesy as it was highly unusual at the time for an unmarried woman to run their own company. Before long Mrs Coade had gone into partnership with a Da...
 
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