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Centuries

Twinings and Lloyds Intertwined

Twinings portico ©Heather Tweed

Part One Twinings has long been associated with fine teas but the company actually sprang from Tom’s Coffee House. This blog explores a little of that early history and links to Tweed family members who lie within my own ancestral tree. Walking along the Strand in 1706 a waft of aromatic coffee and stimulating chit…

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The Mau Mau Case: Post-Colonial Justice on the Strand

“This is a historic judgement today, which will have repercussions for years to come” – Leigh Day Prosecution team. The Mau Mau insurgency, also known in Britain as the ‘Emergency Period’, was an eight year span of violence in colonial Kenya (1952-60). In 2012, the British High Court of Justice, inside the Royal Courts of…

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Monet’s Pied-à-terre

Monet Waterloo Bridge

“I find London lovelier to paint each day” – Claude Monet. Monet’s link to London Monet fell in love with London in 1870-71, while in exile from France, during the Franco-Prussian war. After his return to France he vowed to revisit London, which he did in 1899, 1900 and 1901. In each of these three…

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A Smoking Rebellion at the Savoy?

Savoy 'out' sign

The Savoy hotel is a treasure trove of weird and intriguing events over the last century of Strand history. In 1896, per the Fairmont Hotel Group blog, the Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre was the first woman to smoke in public and did so at the Savoy. “The Duchesse de Clermont-Tonnerre, the first woman to smoke in…

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A Wind of Tingling Fullness on the Strand: Sir William Chambers’ Sculptural Design and Somerset House as ‘the object of national splendor’

Top image: Detail of George II and The River Thames, by John Bacon.

An Interview with Professor Michael Trapp, Department of Classics, King’s College London By Freya Zhang In her essay ‘The external sculptural decoration of Somerset House: And the documentary sources’, Susan Jenkins writes: “It is clear that Sir William Chambers planned a sustained and sophisticated iconographical program for the external sculptural decoration of Somerset House, which…

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A Gondola Party at The Savoy

Gondola Party via AngelSmyth

In 1905, the courtyard of the Savoy hotel was flooded with four feet of water to host the party of American city planner, architect, and millionaire, George Kessler. While probably being one of the most luxurious and ludicrous events to ever occur at a London hotel, and certainly on the Strand, it is rather poorly…

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Notes on the Kingsway Tunnel

Kingsway Tunnel today, looking north.

Editors’ note: The Strandlines editors are always scouring for news and research about the Strand area. Below we’re delighted to be sharing an extract from ‘Here’s everything we learned from this map of London’s defunct tram network’, by Jonn Elledge. You can read the entire article on CityMetric. Anyone who has worked, studied around, or…

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Eighteenth-century lives in Devereux Court

Micah Anne Neale is a 3rd-year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London, and volunteered for Layers of London in Summer 2019. Her thesis topic is the musical lives of eighteenth-century domestic servants in Britain, and her research interests include early modern social and cultural history, the history of work and the history of…

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Layers of the Strand

Today, I have been time travelling. I explored the farm around Trafalgar Square. I squeezed into a tiny top room in Devereaux Court to hear Isaac Newton speak. I paid a ferryman tuppence to take me to the floating coffee house on the Thames to look over the water at Somerset House. This is all…

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