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England’s stage

Royal Courts of Justice

Walking down the “Hausmann-like boulevard” that is Aldwych, Alan Read points out the sweeping curve of white buildings, “it looks like it should be in Paris. I sometimes imagine is in Paris when I want to think of myself flâneuring around the city”. The red busses are a reminder, however, that this is very much…

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Pedestrianising the Strand south of Aldwych

Cherry blossom

A new public consultation, initiated by the City of Westminster, is currently  exploring the feasibility of pedestrianising the Strand south of Aldwych. The project, if approved, would create a new public space linking King’s College London, Somerset House and the historic church of St Mary le Strand, currently islanded in a sea of often slow moving traffic. It…

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Life (and Death) beneath the Virtual Strand

Since its retirement from public service in 1994 Aldwych tube station (née Strand) has been busily pursuing a second career in showbusiness. Scoring a part in The Prodigy’s ‘Firestarter’ video (1996) before going on to star in films like V for Vendetta (2005), Atonement (2007) and Fast and Furious 6 (2013), it’s also broken into…

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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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