London. City of ancient churches and bustling markets, palatial townhouses and modest terraces, two millennia of expansion, commerce and street life. This is its story.
In Cruickshank’s London, Britain’s favourite architectural historian offers a tour through thirteen districts that made London into London. From the mysterious Anglo-Saxon origins of Hampstead Heath, via Christopher Wren’s magisterial City churches, to the industrial bustle of Victorian Bermondsey, each of his walks explores a crucial site in our capital’s history – and reveals how it forged the modern capital.
Jumping between East Ham in the east and Kew in the west, Dan Cruickshank explores both world-famous buildings (the Tower of London and St Pancras Station) and oft-overlooked local landmarks (Dagenham Civic Centre and Kensal Green Cemetery). His tales reveal not only the most important moments in London’s history, but also the forgotten characters who witnessed them: the Huguenot weavers who transformed Spitalfields into a vibrant enclave of Georgian London, the visionary architects behind the likes of Somerset House and the Houses of Parliament, and the streetwalkers who once thronged London’s great sexual highway. Along the way, he peppers the book with beautiful photographs, historical sketches and handy maps, so you can immediately follow in his footsteps.
Above all, Cruickshank calls on you to explore London. Every street in the city contains a story. This book invites you to hear them.