London’s most fascinating district – Whitechapel

London’s most fascinating district – Whitechapel

Following the previous post on Spitalfields, we explore the neighbouring area of Whitechapel – starting with one of its most notorious characters. The Whitechapel Murders These murders, assumed to be the horrific deeds of ‘Jack the Ripper’ shocked London and the world.   The murders happened over three months in the autumn of 1888.   And today, [...]

This is where the world’s first national postal service started!

This is where the world’s first national postal service started!

This post will describe a group of buildings near Cheapside in the City of London.  Here you can visit some ancient parts of London - and see where the world's first national postal service started!   (The photograph above is Christ Church Greyfriars and the King Edward Building to the right). The Royal Mail has been in [...]

The site of London’s Roman Forum!

The site of London’s Roman Forum!

Discover the site of London's Roman Forum - and the secrets of the Victorian Leadenhall Market today!   Designed and created by Sir Horace Jones in 1881, Leadenhall Market is one of the three markets he built for the City of London.  It was built on the site of the Roman Basilica and Forum (some ruins [...]

The world’s best museum of public transportation!

The world’s best museum of public transportation!

In Covent Garden, is the world's best museum of public transportation.   This is the London Transport Museum.  We can be sure of this, because London holds a series of world firsts; the first underwater tunnel for mass-transit purposes in 1840, the earliest underground railway in 1863, the earliest electrified underground line in 1890 and the [...]

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

Charles Dickens’ London home – birthplace of his early novels

At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, North London. He did this, just as his writing career (under the pseudonym of ‘Boz’) was taking off.  Dickens lived here happily with his wife, Catherine, and their three children. Charles and Catherine would [...]

Kensington Palace – a history of Prince Harry and Meghan’s home

Kensington Palace – a history of Prince Harry and Meghan’s home

We're not going to let the major Royal event of 2018 go without a mention!  Referring of course to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the 19 May at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle.  Once married, the couple will live together in the second largest apartment of Kensington Palace - moving out [...]

12 portraits at the National Portrait Gallery for Americans

12 portraits at the National Portrait Gallery for Americans

Here is self-guided tour of 12 key portraits at the National Portrait Gallery for Americans in London.   The National Portrait Gallery (NP)G is a haven of peace compared to its next door neighbour; the National Gallery.  It also has a rather nice rooftop cocktail bar with views over London!   Both galleries are on [...]

‘Deeds not words’ – the centenary of Votes for Women in the UK

‘Deeds not words’ – the centenary of Votes for Women in the UK

Yesterday, the UK celebrated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the 'Representation of the People Act 1918'.  This was the Act that gave many women the vote for the first time.  The anniversary was reported widely in the media and to mark the occasion an exhibition of life-sized images of the central figures of [...]

Listen up medics; visit the Old Operating Theatre, London Bridge

Listen up medics; visit the Old Operating Theatre, London Bridge

The Old Operating Theatre Say what? - this is it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe!  We took a visit this weekend...still feeling grateful to live in the 21st century! The Old Operating Theatre was active between 1820 and 1862 - predating anaesthetics and antiseptics.  This is pioneer land in surgical terms. The place [...]

World’s first tunnel under a river – by the former Chief Engineer of New York!

World’s first tunnel under a river – by the former Chief Engineer of New York!

It may not look much on the outside, but this is authentic, world first London!  The building in the photograph houses the entrance to the first tunnel known to have been constructed successfully underneath a navigable river.  It connects Rotherhithe with Wapping in London, is still in use and you can visit it.  Descend the Victorian [...]