Relics of old London

Whilst up in London recently, I took the opportunity to visit an exhibition and an exhibit, both related to London’s past:

Relics of old London: Photography and the spirit of the city at the Royal Academy of Arts
Prompted by the imminent demolition of an old London inn near St Paul’s, the Society for the Photographing of Relics of Old London set about using photography as a means of documenting buildings that represented old London threatened with destruction. This exhibition presents a selection of these photographs from the 1870s and 1880s by A. & J. Bool and, later, Henry Dixon & Son which capture some of the buildings and streets, which were the legacies of earlier centuries.
The exhibition offers fascinating insights into photography’s historic, and ongoing, role in documenting the texture of the urban environment.

The exhibition includes modern photographs to demonstrate how London has changed since the original photographs were taken.

The façade of Sir Paul Pindar’s house, originally in Bishopsgate, London and now in the new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the V&A, is an outstanding survival of a London timber-framed house built before the Great Fire of 1666.

In 1890 the property was demolished to make room for the expansion of Liverpool Street Station, but fortunately, the façade was recognised to be an architectural rarity and presented to the V&A.


3 comments on “Relics of old London

  1. malcolmhk says:

    Hi Saesferd,

    If you’re interested in old London, you might be interested in round three of our Ancient World in London Bloggers Challenge. The question this round is on quite a contentious subject – should the British Museum return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt?

    If you fancy entering, all you have to do is write a blog outlining your case for whether you think it should be repatriated, or whether you believe it should remain in London (or perhaps you feel some kind of compromise can be reached?), then post it on Antiquarian’s Attic and link back to my HK blog below (you’ll also find more details about the rules etc there).

    The prize is five books of your choice from the current Thames & Hudson catalogue. You’ll also enter the running for the AWiL grand prize of a holiday in Turkey.

    Hope to see a blog from you soon!


    • saesferd says:

      Thank you for your comment, Malcolm. A prize of five books of my choice is sorely tempting, but I doubt I will have time to take up the gauntlet – keeping up my own blog up to date is a challenge! I shall leave your comment with link here, just in case any other visiting bloggers have strong opinions about the Rosetta Stone and would like to air them.

  2. malcolmhk says:

    Thanks for your reply Saesferd – shame you don’t think you’ll have time to enter, but no worries of course! The deadline for entries is still a couple of weeks away, so if you do manage to find a spare few minutes, it’d be splendid to hear your thoughts on this subject.

    And of course, it’d be great to see entries from any other bloggers who happen to read this comment! All you need is a blog and an opinion to compete 🙂

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