Gobbets of the week #30

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we liked this week:

1. Cries of London! The Gentle Author announces the launch of the latest Spitalfields Life book with a programme of events to celebrate centuries of London’s street trading culture. 

2. Punk London – the 40th anniversary of punk to be marked with a year-long celebration in London. 

3. What inspired the Red Telephone Box? 

4. Her Majesty’s Rowlandsons. 

5. Unbuilt London: IanVisits explores A Giant Pyramid for Hyde Park. 

6. From Paper to Copper: fascinating clip explaining how a copper etching was made.

7. Vanished London: The Ticket Porter in Arthur Street. 

8. The secret history of the London Plane Tree. 

9. All change at Maggs Brothers: one of London’s best antiquarian booksellers moves house. 

10. Nightwalking: a nocturnal history of London.

Further Reading

If you like our weekly gobbets, you may enjoy the following posts where we explore each of the City of London’s wards:

Poppies and Pepys and Ghastly Grim (Tower Ward)

Fishwives and Firestarters (Billingsgate Ward)

Magnus, the Monument and Mice eating Cheese (Bridge Ward).

Gobbets of the week #29

Here are links to the 10 gobbets of London history we liked best this week:

1. #PepysShow! Previews of the eagerly awaited exhibition, Samuel Pepys – Plague, Fire, Revolution – at the National Maritime Museum – by J D Davies (author of Pepys’s Navy), Londonist and the Guardian.


2. Pepys once bought a leg of beef for sixpence at Leadenhall Market, on the site of the Roman Forum and visited by the Memoirs of a Metro Girl blog. On a similar subject, a lovely piece from Spitalfields Life featuring Liam O’Farrell’s sketches of London Markets

3. Hi-res images of historical London maps! 

4. From a blog I haven’t featured before: Sequins and Cherry Blossom visits Riceyman Steps: a Clerkenwell tour in the footsteps of Arnold Bennett. 

5. Inside the House of Cyn: remembering London’s most famous brothel-keeper. 


6. ‘Simply wonderfully produced. Lavish …great pleasure between its covers… a treasure. Treat yourself.’ Praise indeed – London Historians reviews Panorama of the Thames: a riverside view of Georgian London. 

7. Sadly a wet day, and overshadowed by the awful events in Paris the night before: the Lord Mayor’s Show was 800 on Saturday. In case you missed it, here’s Rob Lordan’s excellent guide in Time Out. 

8. More from Spitalfields Life: ‘a mighty piece of kitsch’: Hogarth at Bart’s Hospital 

9. The Footprints of London festival explores London’s deep literary heritage. Mark Rowlands, the festival’s Chairman, was interviewed on the Robert Elms show. 

10. The Blitz: Peter Watts writes of missing buildings and false memories. 

Gobbets of the week #28

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we liked this week:

1. The London that might have been: architectural wonders (and monstrosities) that never got past the drawing board. 

2. Slashing throats for 170 years: the ‘real’ Sweeney Todd.


3. As we approach the 800th Lord Mayor’s show, a video of the 1967 event...

4. …another showing just how they get the Lord Mayor’s coach out of the Museum of London…

5. …and a song about the Lord Mayor’s coachman!

6. Two London artists from London Historians:  Celebrating Hogarth and Gillray’s Ghost. 

7. The grizzly story of Bunhill Fields. 

8. From Spitalfields Life, John Thomas Smith’s rural cottages.

9. More ‘from the City to the Sea’: part IV – the Thames Estuary; part V – the Thames at night

10. …and finally…the Return of London’s Fog? 

Gobbets of the week #27

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we liked this week:

1. Six degrees of Francis Bacon: mapping 16th century social networks.

2. Parliament and Votes for Women


3. How the postcode was invented in London, and some London postcode trivia. 

4. Following the sad death of historian Lisa Jardine, some tributes: (1) the Guardian; (2) apollo magazine; (3) from her BBC producer; (4) another BBC tribute, including links to some of her best ‘Points of View’ eposodes; and (5) her Desert Island Discs. 

5. Exhibition review: E H Shepard at war


 6. St Bart’s Hospital Museum: a hidden gem with a 900 year old story to tell. 

7. Hand-drawn maps of East and North London. 

8. The Blitz: flight from the East End. 

9. From the ‘A London Inheritance’ blog, a journey along the Thames  from the City to the Sea: part 1: Tower Pier to Greenwich;  part 2: Greenwich to Barking Creek; part 3: Barking Creek to Southend

10. …and finally,  a Halloween Special from blackcablondon. Scary London Scenes from film and TV. Part 1 and Part 2


Gobbets of the week #26

Sorry we’ve been quiet lately! Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we’ve seen recently:

1. Tin Pan Alley: the story of Denmark Street. And to accompany it, a lovely piece by artist Pete Scully: ‘In the State of Denmark Street’. 


2. The first of three great pieces from Spitalfields Life:  the Hackney whipping post.

3. A new post in the great ‘Unbuilt London’ series from IanVisits: straightening the River Thames 

4. Zeppelins! Ian Castle’s new book examines the story of London’s First Blitz


5. I for Novello! @thegentleauthor celebrates the Lexicography of Cockney Slang 

6. They all love Jack: Busting the Ripper – P D Smith’s review of the latest Ripper book. 

7. Crime Museum Uncovered by London Historians. 

8. Our third Spitalfields Life piece: at the Harvest Festival of the Sea

9. When King Cholera came calling: instructions to the East End poor.


10. …and ending with a lovely painting I’d never seen before: The Last Muster: Sunday at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, 1875. 

Gobbets of the week #25

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we liked this week: 

1. Moving a Wren tower from the Square Mile to Twickenham.

2. The man who made Soho glow. 

3. Samuel Pepys at St Olave’s. 


Samuel Pepys’ monument at St Olave Hart Street

4. London’s rumoured secret tunnels! 

5. The sightlines of St Paul’s Cathedral 


St Paul’s at dawn from New Change

6. The Blitz and bomb damage maps. 

7. Two pieces from the Guildhall Library blog: Magna Carta and Surveys and plans of Victorian London’s docks and wharves


The Magna Carta at the Guildhall

8. Experiences of the theatre in post-Medieval London.

9. A Tudor hunting lodge on the outskirts of London 

10. Housing ‘poor men‘ in Greenwich. 

Gobbets of the week #24

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history we liked this week: 

1. A brief but lovely history of London maps.


2. Visscher redrawn. The panorama of London 400 years on. 

3. Agatha Christie’s London. 

4. More Cries of London from @thegentleauthor. 

5. The Barbican Estate: a town reconstructed from its cellars. 


6. Regency London, John Nash and the Third Reich: visiting Carlton House Terrace. 

7. Battle of Britain: the Crisis. 

8. First ever public tours of Henry V’s chapel. 

9. Postman’s Park – one of London’s most unusual memorials. 


…and finally, two pieces on London’s Northern Heights…

10. Highgate’s hospital history and Hampstead Heath Pergola. 

Gobbets of the week #23

It’s been a big week for anniversaries. While the USA remembers the tragedy of 11 September 2001, in London this week marks the anniversaries of the Great Fire, a Zeppelin raid and the start of the Blitz. And of course in ‘other news’ there has been the small matter of the Queen becoming Britain’s longest serving monarch. 

1. My City of Ruins: Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn recount the aftermath of the Great Fire.


2. The centenary of the 3rd Zeppelin raid on London. 

3. On 7th September 1940: a survivor recounts the bombing of Columbia Road Market. 

4. Peter Watts recounts the Legacy of the Blitz


5. Long to Reign Over Us: the Queen’s latest milestone celebrated by St Paul’s Cathedral and the Telegraph. And an explanation of the Crown’s relationship with the City of London


6. S Forester and South London 

7. Lost London – the Great Conduit

8. Down House: Charles Darwin’s Forever Home. 

9. Cries of London: the curious legacy of Francis Wheatley. 


10. Spirit of Soho Mural: celebrating the history and characters of Soho. 

Gobbets of the week #22

Here are links to the 10 gobbets of London history I liked best this week. It’s been a great week, with much to choose from, and I had to leave out some fascinating articles. Hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I did: 

1. Astonishing detective work and a poignant story brilliantly told: a River Thames mudlarking find brings to life a World War I soldier. 


2. The Blitz families who built a city underground. 

3. Gruesome but absolutely fascinating:  ‘I hung out with Jeremy Bentham’s severed head, and this is what I learned’! 

4. At Billingsgate Roman bathhouse with the Spitalfields Life blog. 


5. Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London. ‘Like walking in to the Crown Jewels’. 

6. In Lambeth, the spectacular Tradescant Tomb: ‘a world of wonders in one closet shut’. 

7. The Regency Sex Trade.

8. The theatres of Regency London.

9. A tour of the Cabbies’ Shelters. 

10. Will it soon again be possible to die ‘from a surfeit of lampreys‘? Seems so, according to the Guardian. 

And finally, thanks to Kitty Pridden for sharing this beautiful picture of the approach to Old London Bridge, which makes a great introduction to my post on ‘Magnus, the Monument and Mice eating Cheese’.  Thanks Kitty! 


Gobbets of the week #21

It’s been a good week for gobbets. Here are our 10 favourite London history links this week: 

1. Congratulations on Five years of London Historians! 

2. The wonderful world of archaeological poo. 

3. The parts of Roman London that are intact today. 


4. Super postcards of Old London. 

5. Dickens? History? London? It’s all here. 

6. Exhibition – Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon. 


7. An American in Greenwich. 

8. Famous Londoners: Judge Jeffreys. 

9. London’s Fishy Streets. 

10. The Real Goldfinger and Trellick Tower.


More? If you like our weekly gobbets, you might also like some of our longer posts on London’s history: 
Magnus, the Monument and Mice eating Cheese 

Fishwives and Firestarters: a load of old Billingsgate


Gobbets of the week #20

Here are links to the10 gobbets of London history that we liked most this week:

1. The Victorian splendour of Highgate Cemetery. 

2. New podcast from the Oxford DNB: Dennis Severs, creator of 18 Folgate Street. 

3. The chapel of St Thomas-a-Becket on Old London Bridge. 

4. Where the Knollys Roses grow: the lovely ‘secret garden’ of Seething Lane. 

5. Just what we needed! The London Walker’s Tube Map! 

6. A visit to the old church at Perivale. 

7. As another Ashes series comes to a close, a look at some of The Oval’s finest moments. 

8. To Hell in a handcart? A final journey revisited: Newgate to Tyburn.

9. London’s oldest public drinking fountain.

10. A walk from Lambeth Palace to Waterloo Station, using Bradshaw’s Guide. 

More? If you like our weekly gobbets, you might also like some of our longer posts on London’s history: 

Magnus, the Monument and Mice eating Cheese 

Fishwives and Firestarters: a load of old Billingsgate

London’s Bare Necessities 

Gobbets of the week #19

Here are links to the top 10 gobbets of London history that we liked this week:

1. A spectacular Resurrection Stone at St Andrew, Holborn. 


2. Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower: from doom to desire. 

3. Vintage Videos of London released! 

4. In pictures: London’s lost department stores. 

5. Nine quiet places to explore in Fleet Street, Temple and Holborn. 

6. St Bartholomew’s Gatehouse: a rare survivor of pre-Fire London. 

7. London’s watery streets: from Jacob’s Well to Lamb’s Conduit. 

8. St Dunstan-in-the-East’s lovely garden. 

9. The site of Chaucer’s Tabard Inn

10. London Calling: a great image of Tower Bridge from @Fredtography