History - Archive Articles


Visit Europe’s oldest continually used Synagogue

Behind a modern building in the City of London can be found from the outside a rather ordinary building, and yet inside is a heritage that goes back centuries.

The three smallest monuments in St Paul’s Cathedral

A Cathedral packed with monuments, here are the three smallest – military brasses, Solomons temple… and a piece of King Herod’s 2nd Jerusalem Temple, maybe.

The car repair shop with horses heads

A street in Bermondsey has a car repair shop with a relic of times when horsepower was measured in low digits – two horses heads on the frontage.

The year St Paul’s Cathedral nearly lost its dome

It’s Christmas Eve 1924 and while people are preparing for the festivities, the City of London is busy preparing an urgent notice – they plan to close St Paul’s Cathedral.

Three historic documents go on show

Underneath the Guildhall art gallery is a small space that currently has three historic documents on display.

Chatley Heath semaphore tower saved

A tower on the edge of London in danger of ruin has been saved following a campaign, and will be restored and opened to the public.

London’s Grand Designs: Building a Capital City 1675 to 1986

For a few weeks there’s a display of some of the grand building projects that defined London as a city. From ancient to very modern, lost and still standing.

Visit Guildhall – London’s oldest non-ecclesiastical stone building

Surprisingly few people know this, but it’s possible to visit the City of London’s magnificent Guildhall building, the oldest non-ecclesiastical stone building in the City.

A cast iron Victorian men’s urinal

On a small side street can be found one of London’s few remaining cast iron pissoirs — or mens urinals.

A chance to go inside the derelict Smithfield Meat Market

Although Smithfields is still a functioning meat market, about half of the Victorian buildings are derelict and this weekend is a chance to go inside.

Inside the building site that’s the Geffrye Museum

Famous for its 18th century alms house buildings, the Geffrye Museum is currently being gutted and turned into something rather interesting.

Whatever happened to the traditional shop awning?

It’s early morning and shopkeepers should be preparing the day by unfurling a large canvas awning over their shop front. But they don’t.

50 years ago – planes start flying between Heathrow and Gatwick

Two large important airports, but passengers landing at one might want to catch a flight at the other — so how about a plane flight between the two?

The Bedford Row water pump

On a grand side street in Holborn can be found an equally grand looking water pump.

Help save the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer

Many a summer evening along the Thames is enlivened by the sight of a steam powered paddle-steamer passing through Tower Bridge. But not this year.

Saving the UK’s last working semaphore tower – in South-West London

Just on the edge of London lies an architectural and military marvel — a relic of the time Britain feared invasion by France.

London Transport Museum makes hi-res photos available online

The London Transport Museum has put high resolution images of over 500 artefacts and artworks from its heritage collection onto Google’s Arts & Culture platform.

Museum of London wants the Trump Baby Blimp

A satirical image of the President who is famed for lacking a sense of humour could end up in a museum.

150th anniversary of the repeal of the wig powder tax

This month marks 150 years since a legacy of war with France was dropped – the government stopped taxing perfumed powders used to decorate Georgian wigs

There’s a Spitfire fighter plane inside London Bridge station

If you catch a train from London Bridge, then look out for a Spitfire fighter plane sitting in the middle of the main concourse.

The myth of the famous policeman’s cloak hook

A building near Leicester Square is famous for one small thing that is pointed out by every tour guide who passes it. Can you see it?

A memorial to the founder of modern Italy – in London

Not far from Holborn in a part of town known as Little Italy is a plaque in memory of the man credited with the founding of modern Italy.

Have you seen the Victoria Cross memorial in Euston station

In the middle of Euston station is a memorial to a brave man who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in WW1.

Take tours of London’s grand Livery Halls

Dotted around the City of London are a number of very grand buildings, and while normally private, some are open to the public if you book a tour.