Savoy to Albemarle: The Tale of Wilde’s Demise

The Savoy On the 2nd March 1893, the Savoy Hotel’s adjoining rooms 362 and 361 were checked into by an Oscar Wilde rapidly approaching the apogee of his dramatic career. Soon to be joined by Lord Alfred Douglas – or ‘Bosie’ – to whom Wilde had been introduced some two years earlier, the pair would…

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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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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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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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Who put the Villiers in Villiers Street? Art, culture and élite life on the seventeenth-century Strand

The Strand from the corner of Villiers Street by George Scharf, 1824 (British Museum)

Villiers Street has always captivated me. Linking the Strand to the Embankment, it remains one of the most vibrant walkways in the area and it plays an important part in connecting people to some of central London’s main visitor attractions – historical buildings and palaces, galleries, theatres, cinemas, museums and parks. It has a buzzy…

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