It was thanks to meeting up with our old friend Marc Gooderham the other day that this post came about. We were both walking from London Bridge and he asked me did I know what the holes were in the walls in the chambers around the back of Chancery Lane/Lincolns Inn Fields.
I used to work in that locality and walked up and down Chancery Lane on a regular basis and never noticed any holes (I walk around with me eyes closed most of the time I reckon.) We wandered up Chancery Lane and Marc then took us into Stone Buildings to show us what he meant. After perusing the marks, a passing lawyer told us that they were shrapnel from a World War One bomb and he directed us to one of the brass plaques on the wall for more info.
“The round stone in the middle of the roadway marks the spot where, on 18th December 1917 at 8-10pm a bomb from a German aeroplane struck the ground and exploded, shattering the windows in Stone Buildings and doing other material damage.”
It’s funny as you think you know an area well and all you have to do is veer off the regular track and you find something like this. I find there’s always something that surprises you in this fair city! P
Where to go…in 1700
So the weather’s been pretty foul this past week. And more ice-hail doom and water-borne misery is on its way, as demonstrated by the endless troupe of BBC reporters cagouled up to the eyeballs desperately trying to describe the wetness of the rain and windyness of the wind. So, if you look out the window and the rain is horizontally flying across London’s fair streets, you’d be forgiven for giving the lunchtime walk a miss. But thanks to the good people at the British Library, you can still explore. Check out the Crace collection of maps. I’ve put one above to show how awesome it is – a drawn map of London in 1700. But that’s not all, there’s plans of various houses (and a temporary kitchen erected for a coronation), plus a map called “London. A guide for cuntrey men in the famous cittey of London by the helpe of wich plot they shall be able to know how far it is to any street”.And even better, you can overlay the one you like onto GoogleMaps so you can see the shifting streets of London through the years.
so good. Check out the slider at the top..you can change the transparency of the map so you can see exactly where you are.
So put your phone on DND, get a sarnie and have a look. W
And I’m feline good
On a short trip around ‘my manor’ at work, I came across this lovely memorial garden on Gresham Street. It’s attached to the Lloyd’s building and is on the site of the former St. John Zachary church destroyed in the Great Fire of London. For those not in the know and who haven’t just looked it up on Google, St John Zachary is another name of John the Baptist. So there.
The plaque says it all..except about the cats
What caught my eye were the lovely golden cat faces that formed part of the ornate archway leading into the garden. No explanation accompanied the plaque, but digging about a bit (not in the garden) it seems that these may have been rescued from the Goldsmiths hall and placed here. They do look lovely though. W
Not from London nor appearing in a lunch hour but the flamboyant suit wearing risqué comedian Max Miller in action following on from the music hall post by W. Where’s me washboard indeed. P
In Holborn Thursday lunchtime, walking back to work, I passed a well-dressed man wearing an orange tie and a bowler hat with an orange ribbon around the top. I had to stop him and ask what he did.
He told me he worked for InMidtown an organisation that is trying to make the Holborn/Camden and surrounding areas better through promoting local businesses etc and one of their services is providing free lunchtime walks. How good is that?
We’ve mentioned InMidtown’s walks before and I’m ashamed to say we still haven’t been on one. The walks are hosted by a chap called Aly Mir (who is also a Jimi Hendrix expert, see him here in Hendrix’s gaff!) who I regularly see around Holborn smiling and laughing with about 30 tourists in tow! Click here for their brilliant walks taking place this month. P