Dr. Jones, who has worked on the Strand for more than twenty years, tells stories of people and animals on this street in the past and nowadays.
Self described ‘war baby’ Judith Herrin was born in 1942 and lost her father, who was serving in the Air Force, a year later. Her mother, a general practitioner, never remarried. Regardless, Judith remembers a happy childhood and had a very close relationship with her mother, who took her on many holidays to places like Scotland and France. These trips, frequently including forays to ancient castles and other iconic sites, were partly responsible for Judith deciding to become a historian. While studying in Cambridge, the Byzantine era in particular caught her attention. Read more »
Northumberland House was one of the last survivors of the noblemen’s palaces which originally lined the Strand. It stood on the south side of Trafalgar Square at the start of the Strand, and was recognised by its distinctive lion on the top of the roof. This lion is the symbol of the Dukes of Northumberland, and its twin now stands on the gates to Syon Park in West London. It's strange to think that, before the rapid expansion of London, Syon Park would have been considered a country residence in the early nineteenth-century! Read more »
Trafalgar Square has long been associated with national celebrations. The present Queen marked her Silver Jubilee in 1977 with a carriage procession from Buckingham Palace which went through Trafalgar Square and down the Strand.
She followed in the path of Queen Victoria, who was proclaimed Queen at Charing Cross in 1837, and in 1887 marked her jubilee with a procession along the same route.
Trafalgar Square marks the western entrance to the Strand. Trafalgar Square was begun in 1840, to provide a more dignified frontage to the new National Gallery as well as a memorial to Nelson’s naval victory at Trafalgar and a reminder of the might of the burgeoning British Empire. After much arguing, Nelson’s column was finally erected in November 1843. The bas-reliefs around the bottom of the column, depicting Nelson’s most famous battles, were only finished in 1854, and the famous lions were finally put in place in 1867. Read more »