After visiting St Andrew Undershaft I moved on to the nearby St Helen’s Bishopsgate. There was already a tour in progress when I arrived and as I’d already diverted from my original plan by some hours I decided to just wander around on my own taking photos.
St Andrew Undershaft was one of many churches I visited during Open House London. I only spotted it as I was heading towards Leadenhall Market (to feature in a later post) thanks to the sign they’d put out on the pavement – the church is tucked away among many of the City’s skyscrapers.
There’s been a church on this site since at least 1125, but the present church dates from 1744 and is by George Dance the Elder (he also built Mansion House, the official home of the Lord Mayor of London). The interior of the church, which really took my breath away, was remodelled by John Francis Bently (who also designed Westminster Cathedral).
Aldgate Pump is a water pump at the junction between Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street in London. It was moved there from its original location in 1876. It was famed for its clear sparkling water but in the 1870s it was discovered the water was being contaminated by organic matter from new cemeteries built along its route which resulted in the deaths of several hundred people in what was known as the Aldgate Pump Epidemic.
The memorial to Queen Victoria outside of Buckingham Palace was created by the sculptor Thomas Brock in 1901 and unveiled ten years later, though it wasn’t completed until 1924.
The Bevis Marks Synagogue, in the heart of the City of London, is a Grade I listed building which was opened in 1701 and is the only synagogue in Europe to have continuously held regular services for over 300 years. I paid a visit as part of Open House London and as photos are not allowed inside so I only have a couple of photos of the exterior to share here.
As I hadn’t been near Buckingham Palace for many years on my last trip I decided to walk up that way and take some photographs. I have actually been on a tour of the Palace (back before I started this blog) because there was a particular exhibition I wanted to see. It was pretty expensive but I combined it with a visit to the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery which definitely made it worthwhile.
St James’s Park is the oldest of London’s royal parks, named for a leper hospital that was on the site in the thirteenth century. Even though it was raining cats and dogs I decided to take a walk through the park and up to Buckingham Palace.
I visited the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors‘ headquarters in Great George Street as part of Open House London. It’s the only surviving Victorian building on the street and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1899, who also designed one of my favourite buildings in Nottingham, the Prudential building and the Natural History Museum in London (which will feature in a later post).
I’ve written about the Supreme Court building in London before, particularly in regards to the beautiful sculptures outside, but Open House London gave me the opportunity to explore the interior. Designed by James S Gibson with Skipworth and Gordon it actually houses both The Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies).