A modest little exhibition has opened in the British Museum that displays a number of prints of London under varying states of construction.

Mostly drawings of bridges and roads, there are some good views of Docklands, and a side profile of St Paul’s Cathedral that explains how the great dome is supported.

[singlepic id=5 w=500 float=center]

A number of the prints will be familiar to London history fans as they were printed in mainstream books and periodicals, but about two-thirds would be new to most people. As such, it’s worth a wander in to have a look if in the area, if less so for a specific visit — and a good way to top-up a sometimes flagging London history geek.

There is also a Canaletto.

Although not architecturally detailed, one of the most atmospheric images is this one by Muirhead Bone of the Great Gantry in Charing Cross Station.

It shows the repairs to the arch following a catastrophic collapse in 1905 that killed six people. What is shown is the massive mobile scaffold under the railway station rood, with two men sitting precariously close to the edge high up repairing the glass panels.

[singlepic id=2 w=500 float=center]

Piccadily looking towards the city – 1842

[singlepic id=3 w=500 float=center]

Construction of New London Bridge – 1826

The drawing shows the cofferdams that were erected as temporary supports as they construct the piers, of which just three are in place at the time the drawing was made.

[singlepic id=4 w=500 float=center]

The exhibition is in Room 90 — at the top of the rear staircase of the British Museum.

(Oh, and I am experimenting with a new way of displaying images in blog posts that doesn’t send you to Flickr when you want to see a larger version — let me know if it screws up… or is loved)


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for just over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what your read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

3 comments on “Drawings of London’s building sites in the British Museum
  1. OlracUK says:

    New picture links work a treat. Although, occasionally a ling to Flickr could lead on to somewhere else which was a great way of wasting time when I should be working 😉

  2. Kit Green says:

    Pictures work fine for me too (Chrome / Vista). I do agree with OlracUK that links to elsewhere can lead to serendipitous web jaunts to places elsewhere that I would never find otherwise..

  3. Ian N says:

    pics working fine on Opera browser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> Architecture