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Showing Tag: "victorian" (Show all posts)

A St Pancras Royal Wedding – Well Sort Of!

Posted by Rob Smith, Clerkenwell and Islington Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Kings Cross 

The little Old St Pancras church lies to the north of Kings Cross station. Lovely though the church may be it seems an unlikely location for a royal wedding, and indeed it is, but in 1826 a royal wedding of sorts took place there – between Louisa Constance Bouchier Smith and Charles Edward Stuart, Count Roehenstart – pretender to the British throne.

The last of the Stuart monarchs, Queen Anne, died childless in 1714, and the 1701 Act of Settlement prevented Catholics from the throne. This ...


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Shopping For Our History in Kingston-upon-Thames

Posted by Susan Baker, City of London Tour Guide on Saturday, June 13, 2020, In : Local History 

In these strange times we have more time to look more closely at some of the familiar spots in our own locality. So, I had time to stop and study this over-the-top shop frontage in the historic market place of Kingston-upon-Thames – normally full of shoppers but it was very quiet as most shops were still closed. 

At first sight this Grade II listed building might be thought to be Medieval or Tudor but the two dates 1909 and 1929 give away the fact that it is just over 100 years old and built...


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The Old Operating Theatre Museum

Posted by Hazel Baker, London Tour Guide on Thursday, June 11, 2020, In : Things to Do in London 

Up a narrow 52-step spiral staircase and in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas' Hospital is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients' medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. The Old Operating Theatre Museum has a sp...


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End of the Line for London’s Effluent

Posted by Ian McDiarmid, City of London Tour Guide on Saturday, April 4, 2020, In : Victorian 

Situated 11 miles down river along the Thames Path from London Bridge is a Victorian building 

containing the world’s largest rotative steam engines. Crossness Pumping Station, built between 1859 and 1865,  is the end point on the south bank of the river of Joseph Bazalgette’s sewer system.


There were four engines built by James Watt & Co. named Albert Edward, Alexandra, Prince Consort and Victoria, named after the leading members of the royal family, which lifted the raw, untreated waste a...


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Literary London Tube Map

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Friday, February 21, 2020, In : Literary London 

How well do you know literary London via its tube stations?

In The Book's literary-themed map replaces stations with famous novels based on the area they were set in London, a nice way of sharing some my favourite books (which are also some of our most popular tours). How many do you know?

Oliver Twist is set around Islington. Clerkenwell Green (Farringdon being the closest station) is where poor Oliver Twist is wrongly accused of trying to pick the pocket of Mr Brownlow. Oliver Twist Tour st...


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Why we provide Jack the Ripper tours

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Monday, February 10, 2020, In : Jack the Ripper 

In today’s Guardian author and social historian Hallie Rubenhold has announced her plans to commemorate the lives of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper with a new mural in Whitechapel.  She claims Ripper tours are ‘atrocious’. 

One of the most popular questions we get asked by people is if we provide a Jack the Ripper tour. Yes we do. If we didn’t, they would just go with someone else. Is it not better to provide a Ripper tour which truly reflects the Whitechapel of 1888, the murky...


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Aaron Kosminski - Jack the Ripper Suspect

Posted by Jenny Phillips - Jack the Ripper Tour Guide on Thursday, February 6, 2020, In : Jack the Ripper 
Arron Kosminski, the suspect hinted as being Jack the Ripper, by Sir Melvlle MacNaughton as being the most likely suspect. Also, the subject chosen by Author Russell Edwards, who bought the shawl in 2007 Results from a forensic examination of this stained silk shawl that investigators claim was found next to the mutilated body of Catherine Eddowes, the killer’s fourth victim, in 1888. The shawl is speckled with what is claimed to be blood and semen, the latter believed to be from the killer...
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When is Twelfth Night?

Posted by Hazel Baker, Director of London Guided Walks on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, In : Christmas 

It is said that it is bad luck to leave your Christmas decorations up past Twelfth Night. But when is Twelfth Night?

One of the biggest surprises for those on my Victorian Christmas Walk is that at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. It’s hard to imagine that many businesses did not even consider it a holiday and for most it was simply yet another working day. Instead Twelfth Night was the big event in the calendar associated with parties and drinking....


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Cartwright Gardens: classical calm off the Euston Road

Posted by Ian McDiarmid on Friday, December 20, 2019, In : Kings Cross 

Cartwright Gardens is a graceful crescent of brick buildings with stuccoed ground floors. The first floors facing the street have finely wrought iron balconies and the top, fourth floor is marked off from the lower levels by a heavy white lintel. Otherwise, the facades are plain with recessed sash windows picked out in white.

The effect is of restrained classical elegance. It lies just south of Euston Road in Bloomsbury, and features in our King’s Cross Walk. The buildings a...


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Victorian Christmas in Islington with Rob Smith

Posted by London Guided Walks on Friday, December 13, 2019, In : Christmas Events 
Brand New for 2019

London Guided Walks are proud to present A Victorian Christmas in Islington presented by our very own Clerkenwell and Islington tour guide Rob Smith

The Victorians totally reinvented Christmas and this walk looks at how it was celebrated in Islington in the 1860s. Taking stories from local newspaper's of the period Rob will conjure up the sights of sounds of Christmas - the shops being readied for Christmas day, acts performing at the music hall, decorations for sale and ba...
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Guided Walks this Christmas

Posted by Hazel @ London Guided Walks on Friday, December 13, 2019, In : Christmas Events 

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Nunhead Cemetery Open Day 2019

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, May 2, 2019, In : Events 
Saturday, 18th May, 2019 11am - 5pm
FREE
Nearest Station: Nunhead

What does the event entail?
Cemetery tour including visits to the chapel and crypt which are not usually open to the public.
Seek guidance on family history
Food and drinks at our café.

More Nunhead open day information

Find out more about Nunhead Cemetery in our blog post.
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Beasts of London, Museum of London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, In : Events 
When: 5 April 2019 – 5 January 2020
Where: Museum of London
Suitable for: 7 years+
Price: Variable. Family tickets from £20

Beasts of London experience at the Museum of London explores the fascinating role animals have played in shaping the capital. Step into a self-guided tour through London’s beasty history, narrated by the animals who once lived here. 

Follow the footprints to travel through time, from the Roman era through Medieval London and right up to present day, narrated by the b...
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Who's your favourite Scrooge?

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, December 14, 2017, In : Christmas 


There is one question whilst doing my Christmas Carol Tour which I always get asked: who is your favourite Ebenezer Scrooge?

Hmmm….who do I think plays ‘a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping….old sinner’ the best? 

It’s fair to say there is plenty of choice:

  • 1910 Marc McDermott - A Christmas Carol (silent film)
  • 1938 Reginald Owen - A Christmas Carol
  • 1951 Alastair Sim - Scrooge (UK) & A Christmas Carol (USA)
  • 1962 Mister Magoo - Mister Magoo’s Christmas
  • 1970 Albert Finney - Sc...

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Have you visited Nunhead Cemetery yet?

Posted by Hazel at London Guided Walks on Thursday, March 16, 2017, In : Victorian 
Nunhead Cemetery was originally called All Saints. Covering 52 acres, it is the second largest of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries established around the outskirts of London between 1832 and 1841 during a time when inner city churchyards were unhealthily overcrowded.
The cemetery was built on Nunhead Hill which rises two hundred feet above sea level with views of the City of London and St Paul’s Cathedral to the north and the North Downs to the south.
The London Cemetery Company, th...

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Why did Charles Dickens choose the name Ebenezer Scrooge?

Posted by London Walks on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, In : Christmas 

Charles Dickens was prompted to write A Christmas Carol as his response to the evident evils of capitalism; but it was also an attempt to pay his ever-increasing unpaid bills. Six weeks after visiting Manchester where the fancy first occurred to him, his novella was complete. Dickens was in the event underwhelmed with the profits it generated, but his story went on to become synonymous with the modern Christmas ideal.

The first few paragraphs of the novella set the scene of Ebenezer Scrooge i...
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Mothering Sunday or Mother's Day?

Posted by Guided walks in London on Monday, February 22, 2016, In : 20th century 


The British tradition of Mothering Sunday is rather muddled. Mothering Sunday has been celebrated in the UK on the fourth Sunday in Lent since at least the C16th. 

In the early twentieth century Mothering Sunday underwent a revival thanks to Constance Penswick Smith (1878-1938). It was in 1913 where she was inspired after reading a newspaper report of Anna Jarvis’s campaign for Mother's Day in America.

What is the connection between Laetare Sunday and Mother's Day? 
Laetare Sunday g...


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Victorian London; a new era full of hope

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, In : Victorian 

Victorian London was the largest city in the world for much of that time. London's population grew from about 1 million people in 1800, to about 6.7 million in 1900.  Many of the city’s residents lived in poverty.

Middle class England grew rapidly and the upper class, which was formerly purely hereditary, came to include the nouveau riche, who made fortunes from successful commercial enterprises.

However, a large proportion of Victorian society was still working class, and they remained disgr...


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Explore Victorian London on our walks

Posted by London Guided Walks on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, In : Victorian 

In Victorian literature London is often described as a labyrinth or a maze; once you enter it’s hard to get out. Even though we may look back at the Victorian era with fond sentimentality Victorian London was a dangerous place especially after dark, with highway men and other scoundrel’s waiting to pounce on anyone crossing their path. 

Our Victorian Covent Garden & Soho walk we delve into the world of Music Halls, the introduction of ice cream to the masses and the fortitude of V...


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Visit the Wellington Arch

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, June 18, 2015, In : Georgian 

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Wellington Arch is an English Heritage property which has an interesting exhibition about the battle and reveals a few details which are missed from the English history class rooms.

Wellington Arch now sits at Hyde Park Corner, where Kensington Road meets Piccadilly near its junction with Park Lane, and where the Kensington Turnpike Trust had its tollgate. As a result, Hyde Park Corner became thought of unofficially as the new entrance...


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Follow the Footsteps of Oliver Twist

Posted by London Guided Walks on Sunday, January 4, 2015, In : Victorian 


Many of Dickens’ contemporary critics and reading public feared that novels could be too realistic, and that naïve readers (often female readers) wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between fiction and reality. Especially for a novel like Oliver Twist, which is about “dangerous” subjects like poverty, crime, and the relationship between the two.

"Please sir, I want some more"

London is repeatedly described as a labyrinth or a maze – once you get into it, it’s hard to get back o...


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Notable Priors of St John's Priory, Clerkenwell

Posted by London Guided Walks on Saturday, September 6, 2014, In : Local History 


Thomas Docwra Shield

Notable Priors of St John's Priory, Clerkenwell



The shields in the Chapter Hall of St John's Gate are a wonderfully visual timeline of the English Grand Priors of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell. The following are Priors who made history.

Thomas Docwra

Responsible for the rebuilding of the gateway in 1504. He was very close to King Henry VIII and accompanied him to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, Val d’Or in 1520. 


Sir Robert Hale

By the 1200s the Knights Hospitaller were h...


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A brief history of Barnsbury, London

Posted by London Guided Walks on Monday, September 1, 2014, In : Local History 

Where does the name Barnsbury come from?


The name ‘Barnsbury’ comes from the de Berners family, which owned the medieval manor that occupied the site until the early C16th. The Manor of Barnsbury (also called Bernersbury or Iseldon Berners) was held in 1086 by Hugh de Berners.


Who owned The Manor of Barnsbury?

The Berners family retained the manor until 1502 when it was sold to a Merchant, Thomas Fowler. He passed the manor on to his son Edmund (d 1560) who left it to his son Sir Thomas (d 1...


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Artist Walter Sickert in Highbury

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 28, 2014, In : Art 

Walter Sickert, Victorian artist & actor

At 1 Highbury Place there is a Georgian building with the green plaque was once Walter Sickert’s school of painting and engraving.



Walter Richard Sickert was a late Victorian painter who came from an artistic family. He had a particular fondness for Islington which was a major presence at both ends of Sickert’s life, personally and professionally.


It was a 5yr old Walter Sickert who first visited Islington. In 1865 he attended St Mark’s Hospital, Ci...


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