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Despite the Great Fire and the bombings of two world wars - not to mention the need of any great city to constantly rebuild and renew itself  - there are a few remnants of an older London to be seen, apart from the royal palaces and the Tower of London.

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

Olde Worlde

The Temple Church

Dating back to 1170-1185, this church was built in the round in tribute to Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There are effigies of nine crusading knights in full armour that span the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.

King's Bench Walk at Inner Temple Lane EC4
Tel: +44 (0)20 7797 8250
Tube: Temple/Faringdon
www.templechurch.com

Middle Temple

Built in 1563, this hall was used for banquets and plays and, in 1601, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was first performed here for Queen Elizabeth I. Its history is linked to the English legal system and it was the headquarters of the Knights Templar until 1312.

Middle Temple Lane EC4
Tube: Temple/Faringdon

www.middletemple.org.uk

St Bartholomew the Great

Reputedly haunted, London’s oldest parish church - and the most complete Norman one - dates back to 1123. The medieval baptismal font is unique and the Tudor details (such as the gate and memorials) are familiar from several films, most recently Sherlock Holmes, where its crypt doubled for St Paul’s

Little Britain EC1
Tube: Barbican/Farringdon

Charterhouse

A monastery in 1370, with several monks dying horribly in 1537 as they resisted King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. In 1611, it became a school, with housing for poor gentlemen, immortalised by ex-resident William Thackeray in one of his books. A Tudor gem.

Charterhouse Square EC1
Tel: +44 (0)20 7251 5002
Tube: Barbican

The Old Curiosity Shop

This shop built in 1567 somehow survived the Great Fire of 1666. Visited by Charles Dickens, who lived locally, its connection to his book of the same name is tenuous, despite its claims. However, it looks the part and is the oldest shop in central London. Now a shoe shop.

13 Portsmouth Street WC2
Tube: Holborn
www.curiosityuk.com

Sutton House

The Georgian alterations belie the Tudor inheritance of this manor house, dating back to 1535. The carved fireplaces are original and the kitchen is an authentic Tudor experience. There are also rare wall paintings of the Jacobean era.

2-4 Homerton High Street E9
Tel: +44 (0)20 8986 2264
Tube: Leytonwww.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/suttonhouse

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