The Island Churches of the Strand

Many King’s students have likely passed the ‘Island Churches’ of the Strand as they make the pilgrimage from Somerset House to the Maughan Library. Likewise, many Strand dwellers may recognise their spires from afar, perhaps unaware of their history. Just a few minutes walk separate St Mary le Strand, located between Bush House and the…

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Sculptor John Flaxman and his wife Nancy move to 420 Strand

In the autumn of 1794, the sculptor John Flaxman and his wife Nancy returned from their seven-year stay in Rome. They lodged, temporarily, with Flaxman’s father in his house at 420 Strand, between Bedford Street and where the Adelphi Theatre would be built a little more than a decade later. His father, who moulded and sold…

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Stranded Series: Sophia Barone, Temple Brew House

In December last year I shared a short account of Sotiris Polyzopoulos’s experience of pandemic working life. He reflected on how the rhythms of life have changed, from the busy office at the Strand to seeing miniatures of his colleagues on Zoom. Despite important developments such as vaccines being now administered, many of us have…

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To the Friendship of English Speaking Peoples

February is LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK! Strandlines invites contributions from past and present Strand-dwellers, visitors, and dreamers all year round, however, we launched a call this year for contributions to mark the History Month. The story below was contributed by Tam Lin. Thank you for sharing your own ‘strand’ with us! We are…

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A Strand gay map

February is LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK! Strandlines invites contributions from all Strand-dwellers, visitors, and dreamers all year round, however, we launched a call this year for contributions to mark the History Month. The map below was contributed by Pippa. Thank you, Pippa, for sharing your own ‘strand’ with us! We are always open…

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Robert Herrick’s Love Letter to London

In 1629, Robert Herrick had to leave London to assume a post in Devonshire. Before his departure, he wrote His Tears to Thamesis to say his farewell to the city. It remarkably stands the test of time as an example of how one can feel deeply for their home. As an ex-pat of London, I…

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Strandlines by Nora Geist

February is LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK! Strandlines invites contributions from all Strand-dwellers, visitors, and dreamers all year round, however, we launched a call this year for contributions to mark the History Month. The post and photographs below were contributed by Nora Geist. Thank you, Nora, for sharing your own ‘strands’ with us! We…

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India Club continues their fight for survival

Wedding Day of Joeseph Gyanapraksan (head waiter at the India Club). India Club. 17th September 1966. Courtesy of David Joeseph. Via National Trust.

The India Club, at 143 Strand, is in trouble. And it’s not for the first time. First, for those who have not experienced its wonders, quick history lesson. The India Club was established in 1951, moving to its 143 Strand premises in 1964. It was the base of the India League (who organised for British…

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Speculation and Urban Planning after the Great Fire

The medieval street network around the Strand and into the City, from seventeenth-century plans attributed to Robert Hooke.

In the wake of the Great Fire of London (September 1666), many speculative entrepreneurs reinvented themselves as urban developers. These individuals were the major figures of the modernisation of London’s street network. Laying out regular streets over freshly-bought land and building rows of similar (if not identical) terrace houses proved the best way to maximise…

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