I hadn’t planned on visiting Custom House for Open House London but as I’d been wandering taking photos nearby anyway I thought I’d pop in to see what it was all about. It doesn’t look like a very impressive building from this side – it’s the southern part of the building that looks out to the river and therefore the approaching ships which is more ornate.
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Leadenhall Market had been on my list for a while – I’ve taken a few photos there before but midweek it tends to be packed so the weekend of Open House London was the perfect opportunity to visit. In fact one of my favourite things to do is wander around the City of London at the weekend when it’s practically deserted.
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 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.
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).
I’d taken photos of the exterior of St Clement Danes Church on a previous visit to London but I was finally able to spare the time to go inside in September. Right by the Royal Courts of Justice it is one of London’s two “island churches”, so-called because of the layout of the road around it. (The other is St Mary le Strand which will be the focus of a later post).
Whenever I’m in London for a few days I try and schedule an afternoon of just wandering around an area and taking photos of places I’ve not managed to visit before or where I’ve visited only briefly. Despite the intermittent rain after visiting Temple Church I decided to take a wander around Somerset House. There was some sort of event going on inside so I only took photos of the courtyard and exterior.