Among so many other things, I love London for the serendipitous moments. Slipping past a quiet courtyard, strolling past an interesting door or turning the corner and beholding an enchanting wall garden.
This is where we passed as we walked to the spot to begin The City walking tour from one of our travel books. We downloaded the app before leaving home and listened to it on our iPhone.On the way we found this very pretty place on the corner of Kemble Street and Drury Lane.
Yes, Drury Lane, where the muffin man of my nursery rhyme days must had lived :)
How could these obvious tourists not stop by an iconic red phone box for fun pics!
We began our walk at St. Clement Danes, an Anglican church in the City of Westminster, London.
It is situated outside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. The current building was completed in 1682 by Sir Christopher Wren. Wren's building was gutted during the Blitz and not restored until 1958, when it was adapted to its current function as the central church of the Royal Air Force. source
Christopher Wren played a large part in London's history. After the great fire of 1666, Christopher Wren was a hired to rebuild the city.
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman city wall. It threatened, but did not reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster, Charles II's Palace of Whitehall, and most of the suburban slums. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral and most of the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated to have destroyed the homes of 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants source
We stopped in the Twinings' shop on the Strand. It was established as a tea room in 1706
Inside the long, narrow tea shop.
A bit farther, we came to The Temple Bar Monument with a statue of a griffin. It marks the official entrance in to the City of London leaving Westminster. This is where the Strand changes names and becomes Fleet Street.
If you were standing here on December 30, 1940, the morning after a German Luftwaffe firebomb raid, you'd see nothing but a flat, smoldering landscape of rubble, with St. Paul's rising above it, almost miraculously intact.
The plinth is inscribed with these words: “The original statue was erected on this spot to commemorate the completion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Francis Bird – sculptor.” “This replica of the statue of Queen Anne was erected at the expense of The Corporation of London In the year 1886, The Rt. Hon. Sir Reginald Hanson MA, FSA, Lord Mayor – Wm. Braham Esq., Chairman of the City Lands Committee”
Can you believe that all of this was just part of our Saturday.
Heading to Bankside and lots to see along the Themes up next.