Bermondsey to Rotherhithe

Bermondsey is a thriving business and social area on the south side of the River Thames.  It found prominence as the location of Bermondsey Abbey in the middle ages.   The abbey was dissolved during Tudor times and the area developed into the centre of London's leather processing industry.   Many of the street names bear witness to [...]

London’s Bronze Age bridge

Vauxhall is an area in central London on the south side of the River Thames.   It is also the site of some of the oldest in-situ structures in London.    Just to the west of Vauxhall Bridge, on the south side of the river, you can see the remains of a Bronze Age bridge or [...]

London’s best preserved seventeenth century country house

Ham House was built on land owned by King James I in 1610.   The lease of the house transferred between several royal courtiers until it was granted to William Murray in 1626 - during the reign of King Charles I.   Murray was granted the freehold ten years later.   Murray, a Scotsman, was a close friend [...]

London’s second ‘City’ – Canary Wharf in Docklands

Canary Wharf is the name of the second financial district for London.   It is situated about three miles to the east of the ‘City of London’ in the former London Docklands.   The addition of Canary Wharf was to provide additional capacity for the ‘City’ – a top-ten world economy, if it were a country in [...]

HMS Belfast – a Royal Navy cruiser in the ‘Pool of London’

Continuing the naval theme of the previous post on the Mary Rose, here is something far more recent!   A time capsule from World War II and a reminder of the debt we owe to servicemen - as well as a great adventure for kids.  Being in central London and with elevated views over the City [...]

The Virginia Quay Settlers Monument in London

The Virginia Quay Settlers Monument, on the north shore of the River Thames, marks the embarkation point of the first English settlers of North America.  This was where Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith set sail in December 1606 - some 14 years before the Mayflower set sail two miles further upstream.  There were three ships [...]

World’s first tunnel under a river – by the former Chief Engineer of New York!

It may not look much on the outside, but this is authentic, world first London!  The building in the photograph houses the entrance to the first tunnel known to have been constructed successfully underneath a navigable river.  It connects Rotherhithe with Wapping in London, is still in use and you can visit it.  Descend the Victorian [...]