Posts Tagged ‘Fleet St’

More Around the City

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987 87-11c-16-positive_2400
Bassishaw High Walk, City, 1987

There is still a section of the pedestrian route above traffic level here, leading from the yard behind the Guildhall and to a bridge across London Wall, though the bridge is now a more recent construction a little further west and crossing at an angle and leading on to the high walks that were built into the Barbican Estate. This area next to City Tower looks rather different now. Britannic House, one of the original six towers built along the new London Wall was refurbished in 1990 and renamed City Tower.

Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987 87-11c-21-positive_2400
Highwalk, Moor Lane, City, 1987

Looking down Moor Lane with the Barbican at the right on a section of the high walk that has now gone, but which used to lead from close to Moorgate station. I think this gateway was roughly above the junction with Silk St. Empty when I took this picture (possibly on a Sunday) it was sometimes quite crowded during the rush hours with office workers making their way to the tube. The high walks were useful routes, avoiding the often dangerous traffic on the streets and also providing good vantage points for photographers, and I’m saddened at their loss. But I think they took up space that could be sold expensively as offices.

Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987 87-11c-31-positive_2400
Ropemaker St, Islington, 1987, City

This building on Ropemaker St was one of my favourite examples of modern office architecture when it was built, and I photographed it on several occasions. I suppose it doesn’t quite belong in this post as it was on the north side of the road and thus in Islington rather than the City, where I was standing on a section of high walk to take the picture.

Ropemaker Place, a 60m high block was completed in 1987 shortly before I made this picture. It didn’t last long and was demolished only 18 years later in 2005.

Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987 87-11c-51-positive_2400
Holland House, Bury St, City, 1987

Holland House in Bury St has lasted rather longer and is protected by its Grade II* listing. The only London building by leading Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage it was built in 1916 for the Dutch company Wm H Müller & Co, complete with a granite prow by Dutch sculptor J. Mendes da Costa.

More recently when I’ve photographed here I’ve stepped a little to the left to bring the ‘Gherkin’ into view – but construction of 30 St Mary Axe only began in 2001.

Cutler St area, City, 1987 87-11c-53-positive_2400
Cutler St area, City, 1987

I think this is a part of Devonshire Square, a private area of the City which was developed by the East India Company, then sold to St Katharine’s Dock and bought in 1909 by the Port of London Authority. The warehouses here were used to store the more valuable commodities imported from across the empire. The site was acquired by Standard Life Assurance together with Greycoat Estates Ltd in 1978 and became offices, but still remained something of a private enclave, if no longer used for the secure storage of “Ostrich feathers, chinaware, oriental carpets, cigars, tortoiseshell, silks, mother of pearl, clocks, watches, cameras, drugs, spices, musical instruments, perfumes, tea and other prized artefacts.”

Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987 87-11c-63-positive_2400
Baltic Exchange, St Mary Axe, City, 1987

The Provisional IRA left a van packed with explosives outside the Baltic Exchange in St Mary Axe shortly before 9pm on 10 April 1992, and then made a call to the police warning them that a bomb was about to explode at the Stock Exchange – 370 metres away in direct line, but about half a mile by road. The bomb wrecked this facade and caused a total of £800 million worth of damage to this and surrounding buildings.

Perhaps the bombers were confused and looking for the old Stock Exchange building in Capel Court, off Bartholomew Lane, just to the east of the Bank of England, while the Stock Exchange had moved in 1972 to a new tower on Old Broad St.

21 New St,, Cock Hill, City, 1987 87-11c-55-positive_2400
21 New St, Cock Hill, City, 1987

This listed archway with a Merino Ram was built in 1863 for Cooper’s Wool Warehouse. By the 1900s the wool storage business had largely moved further east closer to London Docks and in 1907 the warehouse was sold and used for other storage. It was converted into offices in 1981.

Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987 87-11d-01-positive_2400
Newsprint, Bouverie St, City, 1987

Some newspapers were still being printed in ‘Fleet Street’ and the picture shows a lorry delivering newsprint to one of the printing works on Bouverie St.

The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-11d-41-positive_2400
The Seven Ages of Man, Richard Kindersley, sculpture, Baynard House, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

This sculpture stands in front of one of London’s bleaker Brutalist buildings, and for once its hard to disagree with Pevsner over a modern building, when he describes this a “acutely depressing.” But it does include a section of high-level pedestrian walkway with seating and this rather fine sculpture based on ‘As You Like It’. And it’s a pleasant enough place to sit and read a newspaper with a view of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, the last city church rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.

All from Page 7 of my 1987 London Photos.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


1987 – Around Fleet St

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-66-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

Dorset Rise runs up from Tudor St towards Fleet Street, changing its name further up to Salisbury Court and lies at what was the heart of the newspaper industry in ‘Fleet St’. This building at 1-2 Dorset Rise dates from the 1930s and was reclad around 1985. In 2012-3 it was converted into a Premier Inn hotel.

Dorset Rise, City, 1987 87-10m-56-positive_2400
Dorset Rise, City, 1987

3 Dorset Rise is a high quality 10 storey office building, sometimes said to have been built in 1985 but probably dating from the 1930s and like the hotel at 1-2 given a new shiny pink brown granite facing in that year. I am unsure if the deco touches at the top of these blocks date from the 1930s or were added in 1985.

Kingscote St, City, 1987 87-10m-44-positive_2400
Kingscote St, City, 1987

I had forgotten where Kingscote St is and had to look for it on Google Maps. Its a short street, around 50 metres long, between Watergate and Tudor St, a short distance west of New Bridge St. One side is occupied by a hotel and the other by a large shared office building. I think this doorway, now slightly altered was at the rear of 100 Victoria Embankment, better known as Unilever House, where Watergate meets Kingscote but if so the sculpture I photographed has gone.

Blackfriars House, New Bridge St,  City, 1987 87-10m-33-positive_2400
Blackfriars House, New Bridge St, City, 1987

Blackfriars House on New Bridge St is a rather dull building with some fine detail and perhaps surprisingly is Grade II listed, the text beginning “1913-16 by F. W. Troup. Steel-framed commercial building with white majolica facing. 7 storeys, the rectilinear structural grid expressed in the facade which is, however, divided in a classically-derived manner.” My picture I think makes it look a far more interesting building than it really is. It is now a hotel.

The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987 87-10m-31-positive_2400
The Blackfriar, New Bridge St, Queen Victoria St, City, 1987

The Blackfriar is a fine pub built around 1875 on the corner of Queen Victoria St, part of the site of a former friary. But it only got the decoration which gave rise to its Grade II* listing in the early years of the twentieth century, beginning in 1905, with work by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark and sculptors Frederick T. Callcott & Henry Poole. Sir John Betjeman led a campaign to save it from demolition in the 1960s and CAMRA has published a couple of books about historic pub interiors which feature it.

I think the huge and extremely boring block of the Bank of New York Mellon at 160 Queen Victoria St now blocks this view of St Paul’s Cathedral. It might be possible, but difficult to design a building of less architectural merit.

City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987 87-10m-25-positive_2400
City Golf Club, Bride Lane, City, 1987

I don’t think any golf was ever played at the City Golf Club and there were never any balls on the fairway in its left-hand window. The two people standing talking in its doorway are I think clearly employees rather than golfers. The Golf Club in Bride Lane a few yards from Fleet St was a members only drinking club much frequented by journalists at a time when pubs closed in the afternoons.

Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-13-positive_2400
Daily Telegraph, Fleet St, City, 1987

Perhaps surprisingly the Daily Telegraph building dates from only 4 years before its near neighbour at the Daily Express. The Telegraph building has some Art Deco touches with Egyptian decorations which accord with its date of 1928, designed by Elcock C Sutcliffe with Thomas Tait, but seems rather old-fashioned and staid, with a monumental colonnade perhaps in keeping with its assumed gravitas, but seems to me despite its decorations a decidedly Edwardian building. Pevsner gave it a one of his more scathing reviews, “neo-Greco-Egyptian imitation has turned modernist, with much fluting, fancy iron-work and little to recommend it”. It was Grade II listed in 1983.

Probably my reason for photographing this building was that the Daily Telegraph had just moved out to offices in Victoria – and you can see the boards up in front of its ground floor as it was being made ready for occupation by investment bankers Goldman Sachs on lease until 2021. They moved to Plumtree Court in nearby Shoe Lane and the property, now owned by Qatar, is being again revamped.

Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987 87-10m-11-positive_2400
Daily Express, Fleet St, City, 1987

The Daily Express had moved to their new building designed by Ellis and Clarke with Sir Owen Williams, very much in the modern movement of the age in 1931. It was the first London building where the outer wall was a non-structural ‘curtain wall’ and was Grade II* listed in 1972. Like its similar offices in Manchester it was known as the Black Lubyanka. When I made this picture in 1987 the newspaper was still produced here, moving out two years later in 1989 across the Thames to Blackfriars Rd. It came back to the City in Lower Thames St in 2004.

These pictures are from Page 7 of my album 1987 London Photos.

Lucky 13 – 1986

Friday, June 26th, 2020

I can’t quite work out why my album 1986 London Photographs spreads out its 1370 photographs over 14 pages, as there seem to be roughly 100 pictures on each of the pages I’ve bothered to count, but to my surprise Page 13 isn’t the last. But despite the superstitions about the number 13 it does appear to have a number of pictures I came across by luck as I walked around the streets, mainly in Islington and the City.

Barnsbury Terrace, Islington 86-10o-56_2400
6 and 7 Barnsbury Terrace

This pair of villas were built around 1840 are are locally listed. If you go there now you may find my picture surprising, as the pair are now more or less symmetrical, except for the additional second floor window above the recessed door of the right hand house. But it has gained the pilasters around the main windows on the ground and first floor and that on the second floor now has the three arches mirroring its neighbour.

I assumed when I took this picture that the rather stark appearance of the right hand house was probably due to a repair after bomb damage. There have been some rather more minor changes to the left hand house also.

Stone Frieze, Musgrove Watson, Battishill Street Gardens, Islington86-10p-33_2400
Stone Frieze, Musgrove Watson, Battishill Street Gardens, Islington

I made several pictures of this remarkable stone frieze which was installed here in the new Battishill Street Gardens which were opened by Sir John Betjamin in 1975. The gardens were a pleasant quiet place to eat my sandwiches when I was photographing in the area.

The frieze had been made by Musgrove Watson (1804-1847), best known for his brass reliefs around the base of Nelson’s column for the Hall of Commerce in Threadneedle St set up in 1830 by biscuit-maker and amateur architect Edward Moxhay as a rival to other places acting as exchanges for commercial information and the display of samples including the Royal Exchange, of Lloyd’s, the Baltic, Garraway’s, the Jerusalem, and the North and South American Coffee-houses.

Never as successful as Moxhay and other investors had hoped, the Hall of Commerce was demolished in 1922, but the bas-relief frieze from its frontage was saved at UCL, and presented by Sir Albert Richardson to Islington Council for their new garden in 1974.

Fleet St, Ludgate Hill, St Paul's Cathedral, City 86-11e-54
Fleet St, Ludgate Hill and St Paul’s Cathedral

It was only after the railway bridge across Ludgate Hill of the line leading north from Blackfriars was demolished that I realised that I had never set out to photograph what had been one of the archetypal London views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

The line between Ludgate Hill Station and Holborn Viaduct station which the bridge carried opened in 1866. Ludgate Hill station was closed in 1929 but only demolished around the time the line closed to rail traffic in 1969. The bridge remained in place until 1990 when a new line for Thameslink services was tunnelled underground below the old route.

I searched and found a few pictures, including this one, that showed the bridge from Fleet Street a short distance west of Ludgate Circus.

Hatton Place, Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, Camden 86-11g-32
Hatton Place, Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, Camden

Sir Christopher Hatton was  Lord Chancellor of England for Elizabeth I and his London Home was in this areagiving his name to Hatton Garden. Hatton Place is at the side of the Hat & Tun, which probably got its name from a ‘rebus’ for Sir Christopher, and Hatton Place was formerly Hat in Tun (or Hat and Tun) Yard. Back in 1871 it was described as one of the foulest smelling streets in London – and there was plenty of competition. The pub was renamed as Deux Beers Cafe Bar in 2000, but has since reverted to its former name.

I can find no explanation for the elephant head at No 13, which I presume was in some way related to the business then occupying these premises. The ground floor is now a jewellry shop and workshop but the floors above have been converted into flats and there is now a large window in place of the elephant.

Mural, Farringdon Lane, Clerkenwell, Camden 86-11g-54
Mural, Farringdon Lane, Clerkenwell, Camden

Farringdon Lane used to be called Ray Street, and the bridge over the railway here from where I took this picture is still called Ray St Bridge. There is now no trace of the mural on the wall. I think it depicted scenes from the history and industry of the area, including the Clerk’s Well and printing. I tried several times to photograph it in colour but somehow never managed to get the colours right, and prefer this black and white version.

Holborn Viaduct, City Holborn Viaduct, City 86-11i-11
Holborn Viaduct, looking down Farringdon St

Another photograph of the decorative statuary on Holborn Viaduct, looking down Farringdon St and the Fleet valley towards the River Thames.

Page 13, 1986 London Photographs.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.