“Adjoining the Lowther Arcade…is the Adelaide Gallery, originally intended as a place of amusement and instruction combined. It was first opened in the year 1830, and named after Queen Adelaide, the consort of William IV [and] thus cleverly sketched by the late Mr. Read more »
Shopping! This was a major activity on the Strand in the nineteenth-century, and West Strand was the site of the renowned Lowther Arcade (near where Coutts stands today):
This covered shopping area was a favoured destination for whiling away the time in bad weather. You could buy toys and other gifts here.
If we carry on walking down the Strand away from Charing Cross station, we soon see, on the north side of the street, the imposing sight of Coutts bank:
Dickens would probably be pleased to see that his old bank is still on the Strand, although it used to be on the other side of the street:
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 »
To me, Charing Cross Station is such a fixture of the western end of the Strand that is difficult to think that it is not yet 150 years old. I pass the station often when I leave the tube at Embankment on my way to King's College. In the nineteenth-century, Charing Cross was an example of industrial modernity overwriting the old city.
Charing Cross Station opened in 1864, and the hotel opened a year later. The Illustrated London News portrayed it as both a glowing symbol of modernity, and a gothic monster, lowering in the heart of the city.
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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 »
‘Discover a local Golden Moment’: advertisement for Symonds cider, on the bus stop outside the entrance to King’s College London, April/May 2011 (now removed). Read more »
Composed by Molly Olguin, winner of the Cosmo Davenport-Hines Poetry Competition, 2011.
You're standing under the Savoy when it starts. Read more »