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Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

History - Archive Articles

Latest news articles about London’s long history.

Tours of Somerset House

Today, I paid a visit to the impressive Somerset House in central London for a tour of the buildings. They hold tours on the first Saturday of each month which last about 45 minutes and are free of charge. However,

Mar
01
2008

One hundred and fourty years of London Underground complaints

I have a small (and slowly growing) collection of old issues of the wondrous Illustrated London News. I originally started collecting them as sources for research, but I actually find they are quite wonderful to read (although sometimes I think

Feb
27
2008

The woman who could sell Time

In the early part of the 20th century, domestic clocks were still not hugely reliable and regular resetting was generally needed. People who owned a telegraph line or one of the modern radio could listen for the time pips, but

Feb
26
2008

750th Anniversary of the Provisions of Oxford

In just a few weeks time, it will be the 750th anniversary of one of the most important events in English legal history. On the 7th April 1258, there was a confrontation between King Henry III and his barons in

Feb
24
2008

Marylebone Passage – of religion, printers and workhouses

Just along Margaret Street from the awesome

Feb
17
2008
Old map of London’s Docklands
Old map of London’s Docklands

Old map of London’s Docklands

I was in the Surrey Quays shopping centre yesterday while visiting an estate agent, and just outside the toilets is a sign which shows some of the history of the area. It sometimes surprises people that the “docklands area” isn’t

Feb
07
2008

Evelyn’s Yard

If you walk down Rathbone Place, which leads off from Oxford Street you might notice a rather fine old fashioned looking pub on the right hand side – The Black Horse. Take a closer look and notice the alleyway next

Jan
31
2008

A drinking fountain on Holborn Viaduct

I have wandered along Holborn for many years and only recently started paying attention to the odd little things that line London’s streets. Right at the very Eastern end of Holborn Viaduct, opposite the Old Bailey is a church, and

Jan
27
2008

Going back to the Roman Baths

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the claimed

Jan
27
2008

British Rail and the Flying Saucer

I was reading this week’s issue of The Economist and there was an article about commercial space flight, and how in the hype of the early NASA successes – companies were planning passenger flights into space. Naturally, the PanAm flight

Jan
25
2008

Of Carrots, World War 2 and School Dinners

I have recently rediscovered carrots. To me, they have always been a rather bland vegetable that arrives in thin slices on the plate next to the vastly more interesting vegetables and meat dish. A few weeks ago though, feeling lazy

Jan
20
2008
The Royal Courts of Justice
The Royal Courts of Justice

The Royal Courts of Justice

As part of this weekend’s Temple Open Weekend – it turned out that the Royal Courts of Justice – just on the other side of the road – were also opened up, as it was here that they were holding

Jan
19
2008

An Egyptian God pays a visit to my flat

A slightly freaky sight this morning. Following an accident last night with the cooking and a bad case of negligence on my part, quite a bit of muck was on the hob – so I applied a liberal coating of

Jan
18
2008

Early Electricity Supplies in London

I was doing a visit to Ely Place in the City of London and will write about that later as it is an interesting tale, but this posting is about a “manhole cover” I saw in the pavement on that

Jan
15
2008

Temple Open Weekend – Visit the home of the Da Vinci Code

This year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Temple in Fleet Street as a center for the legal profession – when in 1608, King James 1 granted land and buildings in The Temple, including the church to the

Jan
12
2008

The world’s second oldest underground railway?

London Underground is famously the world’s oldest underground railway – but which one came second? Well, that accolade goes to the Tünel, in Turkey’s Istanbul. It is also arguably the world’s shortest underground railway, being just 571 meters in length

Jan
10
2008
Of Roman Baths, Body Snatchers and Australian Convicts
Of Roman Baths, Body Snatchers and Australian Convicts

Of Roman Baths, Body Snatchers and Australian Convicts

Hidden away in central London is a historic bathhouse - originally credited as being built by Romans, although that is frankly, a rather dubious heritage.

Jan
05
2008

Humanity and the Geological Record

Some while ago I was half watching yet another documentary about the meteorite impact which caused significant problems for the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. One of the big scientific clues is the layer of iridium in the rocks,

Dec
23
2007

The World’s Oldest Clock Museum

I spent a rather pleasant 45 minutes at a small museum in the City of London devoted to the history of clock (and watch) making in London. The collection was begun in 1814 by the Clockmakers guild and is said

Nov
24
2007

100th Anniversary of the Ice Skating Disaster

As we approach the annual ice skating season in London, it is worth recalling that ice skating has been going on in London for many years – indeed, most people will recall the stories of the River Thames freezing over

Nov
23
2007

The One Million Pound Note

For the average person, the largest denomination UK bank note that we would see is the £50 note – and even that is moderatly rare with the £20 being the normal largest note in day-2-day usage. However, little known about

Nov
21
2007

Hangmans Gallows on the River Thames

I am starting a bit of history research as background material for a group social walk along the Greenwich Peninsula I am organising next month for Thingbox members. There is tons of history in the area, and thanks to a

Nov
15
2007

All Saint’s Church – Margaret Street, London

Yesterday, I made my long planned return trip to the incredible All Saints Church in central London for a photo session with my tripod. I had been there before, but the lighting is so dark that it is not possible

Oct
28
2007