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1) Both stand on the sites of former prisons [next answer]
Millbank Penitentiary was based on the ideas of Jeremy Bentham by which prisoners would be kept silent & separate and given work to do. Costing £½m it was completed in 1821 in the shape of a six pointed star with 3 miles of passages. A gloomy prison built on 7 acres of marshy ground, disease affected many of the inmates. Used for men and women awaiting transportation or referral it was improved by an Act of Parliament. It was closed in 1890 and demolished in 1903.
Bridewell was built in 1834 on the site of farmer Francis
Wilcox's cowsheds to replace an establishment in nearby
Tothill Fields. It was a county prison for 800 convicted
criminals, remand prisoners and debtors. Although it had
an attractive garden the only activities were oakum-picking
and the treadmill. It too operated on a silent/separate
system. In 1850 the regime was modified when it was given
over to women and boys under 17. It closed in 1877 when
prisoners were transferred to Millbank and was demolished
[Victoria Street walk] [Prisons article]
2) The Great Fire of London [next answer]
|This began around 2am on 2 September 1666 in Farryner's baking house in Pudding Lane. Fanned by an easterly wind and unchecked by firebreaks it raged for 3 days destroying 400 acres within the City, including 87 churches, 44 Livery Halls and 13,200 houses. It 'ended' at Pie Corner which prompted a non-conformist minister to attribute the fire to gluttony! Pie Corner, between Cock Lane and Giltspur Street, has a statue of a golden boy (pictured left). The Monument built in 1671-7 and designed by Christopher Wren commemorates the fire. A Doric column of Portland Stone surmounted by a flaming urn of gilt bronze it is 202' high (the distance from Pudding Lane). It is possible to climb the 311 steps of its spiral staircase to the viewing gallery at the top. There is an audio visual presentation of the Great Fire at the Museum of London.||
3) Both churches were bombed in WWII and
rather than being re-built the remains were incorporated into
St Dunstans-in-the -East in Idol Lane was built in the second half of the 13th century. Re-inforced with Portland Stone in 1633 the main part survived the Great Fire. The tower and steeple however had to be rebuilt - a project associated with Wren's daughter, Jane.The body of the church was rebuilt in Gothic style around 1810. It was restored in 1971 as a public garden supported by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
Christ Church Newgate began as part of the Greyfriars Monastery in 1225 and when rebuilt in 1348 was second in size only to St Pauls. After the Dissolution in 1538 the chancel became a parish church and other monastic buildings were given to Christ's Hospital, which had been founded for orphans in 1533 by Edward VI. Many of the buildings, including the church were lost in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren. The steeple was preserved by Lord Mottistone in 1960 and a rose garden has been laid out on the site.
[Spitalfields walk] [London Wall walk]
4) The Millennium Bridge [next answer]
|This famously opened for only a few days in 2000 before becoming the unusable 'Wobbly Bridge'. Two years and a lot of time and money later it re-opened to pedestrians. It was designed by Foster & Partners, Ove Arup & Partners and Sir Anthony Caro. It is 370m long, 4m wide and 9.5m high.|
[Foreshore walk] [Theatre walk] [Southwark walk]
5) Both were homes of the architect Sir
John Soane who reconstructed them [next answer] Soane
bought Pitshanger Manor, Ealing in 1800 but after rebuilding much
of it only kept it until 1810. In 1900 the house and grounds were
sold to Ealing Council. The Grade I listed building served as a
library until 1984 but is now open as Pithanger Manor Museum
which includes the Martinware Pottery collection.
Soane purchased 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1792 as a home not only for himself but also his collections. He added number 13 in 1813 and number 14 in 1824. In 1833 Soane obtained a private Act of Parliament to preserve the houses and their collections as a public museum which they remain. It is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm and although admission is free donations are welcome towards its upkeep.[website]
6) Both were designed by Sir Horace Jones, architect to the City Corporation [next answer]
|The Act authorising the construction of Tower Bridge in 1885 stipulated an opening span of 200' and headroom of 135' so ships could pass into the Pool of London. The bascule bridge in Gothic style was designed by Jones as architect and John Wolfe-Barry as engineer and included a high level pedestrian walkway. It was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1894. The hydraulic machinery was preserved after electrification. Tower Bridge is open to the public. [website]|
Leadenhall Market in Gracechurch
Street takes its name from a mansion with a lead roof
where foreigners (non-Londoners) were allowed to sell
produce. This had also been the site of the Roman
Basilica and Forum. The house and estate were sold to the
City Corporation in 1411 and became a general market,
rebuilt after being destroyed in the Great Fire. The
present buildings were constructed in 1881 and following
restoration the ironwork is very attractive. It still
serves as a market on weekdays.
7) Both are on the site of birthplaces of
Queen Elizabeth [next answer]
Queen Elizabeth I was born in Greenwich Palace on 7 September 1533, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. She was baptised next day in the friar's church, part of a monastery granted land by Edward IV in 1480. Greenwich Palace had been built by Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, brother of Henry V, in 1426. Henry VII rebuilt it in 1500-6 and it was a favourite residence of his son. It was here that Henry was to sign Anne Boleyn's death warrant, marry by proxy Anne of Cleves and see the death of his son. Queen Elizabeth made Greenwich her principle summer residence but died at Richmond Palace, a fact recorded by a plaque in Old Palace Lane. Charles II started a rebuilding of Greenwich Palace but William and Mary had the Hospital for naval pensioners constructed instead. This became the home of the Royal Naval College between 1873 and the 1990s. The College is now managed by the Greenwich Foundation with most buildings being used by the University of Greenwich. The public have access to the grounds, Chapel, Painted Hall and Pepys Building which serves as an information centre.
Queen Elizabeth II was born at 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair on 21 April 1926 when it was the town house of the Earl of Strathmore, father of the Duchess of York. The building that replaced it has a plaque recording the event.
[Mayfair Walk] [Greenwich walks] [Richmond walk]
8) Both provide public ice rinks [next answer]
Broadgate is open October to April.
Somerset House Rink is set up December - January
9) Both are on the Greenwich Meridian 0°
Ranger's House on Chesterfield Walk SE3 was built for Captain, later Admiral Francis Hosier and became the official residence of the Ranger of Greenwich Park in 1815. It was bought in 1902 by the LCC for refreshment rooms. It is now in the care of English Heritage [more info]and the home of the Wernher Collection. The exhibition also covers the life of a millionaire gold and diamond dealer, crafts & skills used in the making of works of art and modern conservation practices. The Meridian passes through the gallery, crimson parlour and dining room. It is marked on the wall alongside the house (to the south) and in the garden lawn behind the house.
Hospital on Highbridge SE10 was built in 1613 for 21 poor
men. Rebuilt in 1815 it still serves as almshouses and is
managed by the Mercer's Company. It has attractive
gardens and is occasionally open to visitors. The
Meridian is shown on the path of the garden to the rear.
The Meridian is also marked on the Avenue of Greenwich Park, on the Chantry wall in Park Vista, in the roadway of Feather's Place, on Meridian School in Old Woolwich Road and of course at the Observatory where you can find out more about how Greenwich came to be zero degrees longitude.
[Greenwich Meridian] [Greenwich walk]
10) Both have pagodas [next answer]
|Following suggestions by Thomas Cubitt, Battersea Park was laid out in 1853 under the direction of Sir James Pennethorne. A number of amenities were provided for the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Buddist Peace Pagoda was built in 1985 as a gift from the Japanese. Made of Canadian Douglas Fir at 38' it is based on ancient designs. A small white house in the park is the home and temple of the monks who care for the pagoda.|
The 300 acres of the Royal
Botanical Gardens in
Kew, begun in 1759 by Princess Augusta, are still primarily a
scientific institution. Sir William Chambers was commissioned to
design a number of garden buildings which included the pagoda,
inspired by his visits to China. It is ten storeys high at 163'
on a base of 49' diameter. Erected in the winter of 1761-2 it was
11) Both were sites of executions [next answer]
Tower Hill was the site of beheadings for treason. People known to have been executed between 1388 and 1747 include Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, the Duke of Monmouth and the Jacobite Lord Lovat. It was at this execution that a spectator stand collapsed killing 12 people as thousands would attend these events. Following this gallows were erected and a soldier who took part in the Gordon Riots in 1780 was the last to be hanged at the site, now marked with a stone.
Smithfield, a corruption of Smooth field, served as a place of execution for 400 years. The main London gallows were here until 1400 when moved to Tyburn. Smithfield then became a site of burnings for withchcraft and heresy, which also attracted large crowds. Three hundred people were burnt in the 16th century, 200 between 1554 and 1558 on the orders of Queen Mary. A plaque on the wall of St Bartholomew's Hospital records this and has railings depicting flames. There is also a plaque to record the execution of William Wallace, the Scottish patriot who was hung, drawn and quartered on the site in 1305.
[Crime & Punishment walk]
12) Both have statues of Charles II
The statue in Soho Square is by Caius Gabriel Cibber, who also carved a panel on the Fire Monument. For a time the statue was in private ownership and the widow of W S Gilbert returned it to Soho Square in 1938.
|The statue at the Chelsea Hospital is a bronze by Grinling Gibbons of the king in Roman costume, erected in 1692. The Hospital was founded by Charles II, so on Oak Apple Day (29th May) his escape from the Battle of Worcester by hiding in an oak tree is commemorated by wreathing the statue in oak leaves. The Hospital, designed by Wren and including the chapel and dining hall is open to visitors daily 10-12 & 2-4. There is also an excellent museum with free admission. [Chelsea walk]|
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