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Strands

St Mary Le Strand

In 1147 the site was occupied by the church of The Nativity Of Our Lady and the Innocents. This was demolished in 1549 to make way for Somerset House, Protector Somerset promised to rebuild it but never did so and for nearly 200 years the parishioners had used the Savoy Chapel. A maypole used to…

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Metropole Hotel Invoice

Metropole Hotel Invoice

This is an invoice regarding the Metropole (or Metripole as gt Grandpa spelt it). J Garrod was Joseph Garrod, my great grandfather. The business was carried on by Edward, my grandfather and James & William my father and his brother. It is still going, trading as Garrod Brothers in North London. The owners are still family,…

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Mlle. Sarah Bernhardt and the National Theatre

In Matthew Arnold’s essay on ‘The French Theatre’ (1879) he urges on the movement to found a national theatre and fancifully imagines French comediens departing for London and passing ‘along the Strand… I see a fugitive vision of delicate features under a shower of hair and a cloud of lace, and hear the voice of…

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Panoramas, Dress Circles and Tubes

In 1787 Robert Barker put a patent on a way of seeing: ‘panorama’. It is said that he came upon the term when surveying the city of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill. Moving to London, Barker reconstructed 360 degree views in a Leicester Square art gallery; an initiative mimicked by his son on…

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Ford Madox Ford on the Strand in the nineteenth century

The Strand figures twice in Ford Madox Ford’s reminiscences about his pre-Raphaelite relations, Ancient Lights (London: Chapman and Hall, 1911). First in this passage which is revealing about the different experiences of place in different generations: I was talking the other day to a woman of position when she told me that her daughters were…

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Exeter ‘Change

Originally submitted by Chris Kenyon Jones A shopping mall – with a zoo upstairs – once occupied what is now the site of the Strand Palace Hotel. The Exeter Exchange (or ‘Exeter ’Change’) was originally built in the late 17th century to house a collection of small shops at ground level. From the 1770s to…

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The ebb and flow of the Strand

Submitted by David Green The Strand means the same in English as it does in various other languages – Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, German – even Old Norse and Old English. It’s a place where land and water meet; where things run aground, where things are ‘stranded’ – left when the waters recede. This is true…

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