If you’re a member of my extended family, then you can skip this post because you already know what I’m going to say. Also, if you’re a hardliner who only wants to hear about things you can do in a lunchtime, please disregard this missive, for at the weekend I went on a guided tour of London and I am going to tell you about it.
My brother-in-law arranged it all and we met Ken at Angel tube station, promptly at 10.30am. Ken runs this website and a number of guided tours around London that use old city maps as to navigate the walk. Our tour took us round North Clerkenwell, where we found out all about the New River Company, how hollowed out tree trunks first criss-crossed Clerkenwell’s open spaces to carry water to its inhabitants as well as some interesting tidbits regarding Lenin, Nell Gwynne and other famous city dwellers.
More than the interesting quick facts though, was the way that Ken brought the era of Victorian city expansion to life. He used the maps to show how the city had changed and why certain features of the area are the way they are – adding in the economic and social factors that decided how a city begins to be laid out and the changes that affect it . I won’t go into the details as that may take something away from Ken, but suffice to say, if you want to get an overall picture of an area’s development, then this guided tour is well worth it. W