The London That Was & Wasn’t


More on those books below – ‘London As It Might Have Been’ is an in-depth look at all of the palaces, towers, mausoleums, archways and vast ridiculous constructions architects have planned for the city over the centuries – and there have been a lot of them, idealistic, breathtaking and plain wrong. It’s a fun book to skim.
‘The London We Have Lost’ is sadder because these things were there, and through fire, disaster, changing fortunes and ownership or simple thoughtlessness on behalf of town planners they’ve disappeared. Duelling, leper houses, highwaymen and executions we were better off without, although Execution Dock is still marked, while Fribourg & Treyer, Gamage’s department store and Verrey’s restaurant have all vanished in my lifetime. Luckily there are many London improvements which have found favour (and disfavour) with the public. Rule of thumb; if we like them, we give ’em a nickname.

Forget it, didn't happen

Forget it, didn't happen

One comment on “The London That Was & Wasn’t”

  1. I.A.M. says:

    So, if that picture at the bottom is of something that didn’t happen, what was it supposed to be? From the looks of the thing, and the troops in the front of it, could it be some sort of Coronation thing for Victoria (Land of Hope and Gloria)?

    There was an arch near the Palace that ended up being moved owing to the fact its opening was narrower than the royal coach – DOH! – so it was re-located to… erm… somewhere east, up the river… it was on that Digging up the Country show when they rooted about in the back of Buckingham Palace and Windsor in the same episode… you know… that show that’s hosted by the “Baldrick” actor from Blackadder… erm…

    [very quietly] …help?

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