Benedetto Pastorini's engraving of the Adelphi terrace in its splendour.

By the end of the eighteenth century, the Strand had become the theatre of one of London’s most adventurous architectural enterprises: the Adelphi. Four Scottish brothers Robert, John, James, and William Adam endeavored to transform a slum into a fashionable quarter, and in doing so, to promote their dream of social and artistic uniformity, equity,…

Read More
Shell Mex House, Public Domain image uploaded by Wikipedia user Mahlum.

‘If one could choose a single location in which the encounter with cultural complexity became routine, it would be that unique gathering of peoples along the Thames.’ So says John Cramsie, author of a book about such encounters in the early modern period, though mostly ones away from London (British Travellers and the Encounter with…

Read More

In the 18th century, the Philosophical Transactions journal (then a relatively new publication) preserved several accounts of astronomical events as observed from the Strand. The Royal Society of London provided James Short, “from the College at Edinburgh”, this platform to publish his observations. In the Philosophical Transactions database Short’s name appears thirty-four times. Of these,…

Read More

Jonathan Sisson established a scientific instrument making business at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, London. The attic rooms included an observatory, the exterior visible in a drawing by the freemason, Thomas Sandby.[1] Sandby was the architect of the first Freemasons’ Hall on Great Queen Street, which was completed in 1766. For many…

Read More

Editor’s note: below you can find teasers of Aisha Brady’s research for her Layers of London collection ‘Lost Buildings of the Strand‘. Aisha researched this collection (and many more!) as a Layers of London and Strandlines collaborative volunteer. We are currently recruiting for more volunteers, apply by 7 February 2019! Find out more here. Lost…

Read More

If you’re reading this on our website, we hope that you already know that Strandlines collects and shares histories and stories of this most central of London’s streets. Why not browse some of our existing ‘strands’ to see what our contributors have preserved so far? Layers of London is a huge collaborative effort to map…

Read More
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…

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

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

Read More

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…

Read More