Before structural issues led to a redesign (resulting in Giles Gilbert Scott’s concrete bridge built in 1942), Waterloo Bridge was considered the most beautiful of all London’s bridges, whose aura was captured more than once by artists: including Constable and Monet during his stays at the Savoy. The following accounts, one by an English archeologist…

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The names 'Terry', 'Stoker', and 'Irving', carved into the Lyceum Theatre on Burleigh Street. Photo by Fran Allfrey.

On the back wall of the Lyceum theatre in Burleigh Street are three engraved names: Stoker, Irving and Terry. They honour three great characters of the British theatrical world  in the late 19th century.  Henry Irving was the actor/manager of the Lyceum from 1878 to 1902.  Ellen Terry was one the most famous actors of…

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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,…

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The Strand in John Rocque's Map, 1746, Layers of London/ British Library/ MOLA. With added photos from across the years.

There’s a feeling of ‘new’ in the air. Universities are going ‘back to school’, but there’s a sense that more people than usual are making some sort of re-start: returning to the office after weeks of working from home or furlough; adapting to working from home in the longer term by perfecting new routines; figuring…

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A grid of photographs of the Strand taken by reviewers and uploaded to Trip Advisor. The views include Christmas Lights, grand buildings such as the Royal Courts of Justice and Somerset House, and theatre signs.

With lockdown easing, many Londoners and tourists are beginning to explore the city or return to their places of work. Of course, for some essential workers, the Strand has continued to be a part of daily life. As for me, I’m lucky that my job can be done from home, and I am nervous about…

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Detail of H01915 London Trafalgar Square, 27 Aug 1939, by Anthony Kersting, The Courtauld Institute of Art, CC-BY-NC.

Anthony Frank Kersting was a prolific (and under-celebrated!) photographer of the 20th century. His collection of thousands of photographic prints and negatives, including glass plates, have been held at the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art since his death in 2008. The collection is being digitised as part of a huge project that…

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One of the things I’ve missed the most during lockdown is grabbing lunch from one of the small businesses on the Strand. I drop in on Co’m In Vietnamese Cafe at 69 Strand every few weeks for a baguette or soup. Craving a bánh mì, I found myself scrolling on Co’m In’s instagram @comin_vietcafe, and…

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Detail of Matt's Pic Diary Peach @ Heaven, London, 31 March 2007, uploaded to Flickr. Shared via Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

The brick archways drip, flesh drips. The flicker of glitter. Flashes of red and yellow and blue imprint on the back of my eyes. We drip, drip in neon. Hand-shadows on my face, on my body. Foreign hands on my flesh, familiar hands on my skin. No signal. It’s freedom for a night, freedom from…

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Dimly lit Victorian London street

As we entered a new decade, little did we know that three months down the line our bustling thoroughfare would come to be haunted by the shadows of London’s Victorian past. Transforming into a flaneur-like figure in the dead of the night to combat his insomnia, Charles Dickens documented his traversing of London in the…

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