London Calling CLASS TIMELINE!

The site for all your interesting events from the locales you will investigate.


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The building of Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the home and administrative headquarters of Britain's monarchs, originally built as a large townhouse for a duke in 1703. Since then, it has had an expansive history, where it turned from essentially a country home, to a 700-room palace. It was built by the Duke of Buckingham, and later purchased by King George the 3rd in 1762, for 28000 pounds. It was then given as a gift to Queen Charlotte in 1775.


The building was then renovated by George the Fourth, who never ended up living there. The first monarch who lived there was Queen Victoria. Even then it was not used as a proper, stable home and seat for the royalty, as it fell into disrepair. As time went on it was only used for ceremonies and balls. George the fifth and Queen Mary lived there in the 20th century, making it much more home-like. 


It was also a victim of The Blitz, however it was used to celebrate the end of World War Two with the royal family and Winston Churchill. 


At its current state it is home to over 700 rooms, including a cinema, swimming pool, post office, chapel, and even a surgery room. The upkeep and running of a building this size, along with its administrative purposes, requires over 600 employees. There are 760 windows. There are 350 clocks requiring two full-time clockmakers. There is a full-time fendersmith employed (clean and maintains fireplaces) - and there are 300 chimneys. The garden at Buckingham palace is 42 acres. That is about 31.8 football fields. This garden is home to a mulberry tree over 400 years old (1567). There is a museum on the grounds, and there is said to be over 10 million euros worth of art and antiques - not all of it on display.

Sacyr. “Buckingham Palace's Hidden Secrets.” Sacyr Blog, 20 Oct. 2022,


Vickers, Hugh. “The History of Buckingham Palace.” British Heritage, British Heritage, 13 Mar. 2023, 





Kierra Weyandt

St. Paul's Cathedral and It's Audience

St. Paul's


Because of The Great Fire in 1666 that destroyed approximately 13,500 houses and Old St. Paul’s Cathedral, and other priceless architecture, the 1700s were marked as a period of reconstruction and modernization of the previous medieval city. While the emphasis was placed on rebuilding the city, the displacement and new homelessness of London’s population were severe. Considering the fire occurred pre-insurance, a specific, The Fire Court, was designated for property disputes and financial hardships.  The Great Fire led to today’s insurance industry. The New St. Paul’s Cathedral was constructed by architect Christopher Wren and consultations with the church.  Today, it consists of baroque ornamentation with neo-gothic features such as Portland stone. The church reflected the shift from Catholicism to Protestantism. The church was completed in 1710. Wren oversaw the reconstruction of fifty-two churches In London, twenty-five of which have survived time. Inside the church there is a miniature and layout of Wren’s original design for the church as well as Wren’s gravestone which reads ‘ if you seek his memorial, look about you’. Wren experienced financial constraints for the rebuilding of the cathedral. Within the church, a Nigerian installation titled Still Standing by Victor Ehikhamenor rests next to a plaque that commemorates a British admiral that led the 1897 expedition to gather the African artifacts from the Benin Empire. Current discussion around the return of symbolic and stolen objects is debated, as the British have frequently sought out to control, displace, and capture artifacts from cultures/countries. Within the crypts of St. Paul, colonialism figureheads of the British Empire are housed. Including Horatio Nelson who frequented British occupied Honduras, Nicaragua, and Caicos Islands.  This erasure and blatant celebration of the horrors of colonialism is, personally, one of the most striking features the cathedral has to offer. What privilege it must have been to pillage sacred symbols for display in St. Paul’s, a church that took thirty years to finish construction outliving several generations of children as 74% of children died before the age of five in London during the 1700s(“The History…).St. Paul’s Cathedral remains a social and political hub for reformers to ideally create a greater London.

Davies, Sian. “Five Ways the Great Fire Changed London.” BBC News, BBC, 22 July 2016,

Jhala, Kabir. “Nigerian Installation in London's St Paul's Cathedral Provokes Debate around Restitution and Colonial Monuments.” The Art Newspaper - International Art News and Events, The Art Newspaper - International Art News and Events, 18 Feb. 2022,

“The History of London.” London's History,


Hollie Keller
Sep 1718

The Construction of St Alfege Church

White, Ethan Doyle. A view of Saint Alfege's Chruch in Greenwich from the southeast. 14 June 2021.
White, Ethan Doyle. A view of Saint Alfege's Chruch in Greenwich from the southeast. 14 June 2021.

During the Viking raids in England, one of the key positions that they would land on was in Greenwich. The army of the Danish was planted in Greenwich of well over 3 years and used it as a key position in raiding places like Kent and Canterbury. While raiding the British in Canterbury, the Vikings were able to capture Archbishop Alhpege and hold him for ransom against the nobility of England. However, Alphege refused to have his bounty paid and he was butchered by the Danish for his acts against them. Alphege became a martyr and was given sainthood in April of 1012. Many years later, the influence of the Catholics died down with the Protestant Reformation and several attacks against the Catholics in England. Before the death of Queen Anne in 1814, she passed a series of Acts that allowed for the construction of several Catholic churches and subsequently the Church of St. Alfege (Daniell). During the reign of Queen Anne and on, there was a certain level of Catholic influence that was present in the communities. Despite the history of London having a strong Protestant influence, the Queen Anne Acts proved that there was a sect of Catholics still in London as of the 18th century. Additionally, the church was built by Nicholas Hawksmoor by 1714, but it wouldn’t be consecrated until 1718. The church has the typical construction of most churches in England, but the rich history of the area and the name of the church is what make it unique. The church was even used during WWII as a bomb shelter that helped defend those in air raids. The church suffered internal damages from the bombing raids but still stands to this day. As of 1982, the church is no longer used for services and stands as a historical monument. 



Daniell, Alfred Ernest, and Alexander Ansted. London Riverside Churches ... with 84 Illustrations by Alexander Ansted. Archibald Constable & Co., 1897.


Ross, David. “Canterbury, St Alphege Church - History, Travel, and Accommodation Information.” Britain Express,

Aidan Pellegrino

The London Infirmary opens

London Hospital, 1888
London Hospital, 1888

Since its founding in the autumn of 1740, the Royal London Hospital, initially known as The London Infirmary and then The London Hospital, has been one of the most extensive charities of its kind. According to its website, its aim was “the relief of all sick and diseased persons and, in particular, manufacturers, seamen in the merchant service and their wives and children". As such, it gave much-needed aid to those who needed it the most, i.e. the lower-class individuals that often made their home in the Whitechapel area.
Originally, the hospital was run by a committee of "financial subscribers," but soon switched to a Court of Governors in which a house committee reported to. This would remain the same until 1948 with the founding of the NHS (National Health Service).
In 1990, in commemoration of its 250th anniversary, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted the hospital a royal title, thus making it the Royal London Hospital.
NHS Choices, NHS,

Logan Wertz

Chelsea Porcelain Factory Founded

Boucher, François. The Music Lesson. ca. 1765.
Boucher, François. The Music Lesson. ca. 1765.

In the 18th century suburb of Chelsea, the Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory created some of the finest pieces of British porcelain. The factory, founded by Frenchmen Nicholas Sprimont and Charles Gouyn, catered to wealthy Londoners. Being founded by two Frenchmen is symbolic of the large French population in the area, as many Huguenots chose to settle in the city and specifically in that area. Chelsea China was produced at 16 Lawrence Street, Chelsea from 1745 to 1784. The area of Chelsea was a fashionable area, a trait that would continue for the area’s history. Notions of class and wealth have proved to be key areas of discussion for much of the area’s history, as even today there is notable wealth inequality.
The production of porcelain was divided into three periods, each with their own markings, but without changes to the production methods. As their porcelain has become even more important, these markings have become more notable as well. The earliest period used a triangle, the symbol for fire, and many subsequent symbols were of anchors. The factory worked to improve their soft-paste porcelain, making many important improvements to the technical aspects of production. Many aspects of the porcelain were inspired by Japanese work as well, and their products were often compared to those from Japan with praise. However, influences from the continent were still strongly felt, as different styles were adopted during the different periods of the factory’s work. Rococo design elements and fine gilding are seen in many fine examples of figures or scenes, while some pieces are finely sculpted animals created as depictions of loved pets.
Eventually, the factory was sold to William Duesbury of Durby in 1770, which started the “Chelsea-Derby” or “Derby-Chelsea” period of the factory’s production. Later, the factory moved, and many molds were destroyed in the process.

Boucher, François. The Music Lesson. ca. 1765. The Met. Accessed 18 April 2023.

“Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory: Finch: British, Chelsea.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Chelsea Porcelain Manufactory: The Music Lesson: British, Chelsea.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Chelsea Porcelain.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Collections Online: British Museum.” Collections Online | British Museum, Accessed 18 April 2023.
A History of the French in London. Edited by Debra Kelly and Martyn Cornick, School of Advanced Study, 2013, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Tobias Smollett: Novelist: Blue Plaques.” English Heritage, Accessed 18 April 2023.

Kathryn Maille

The Establishment of the British Museum

In 1753, an Act of Parliament created the world's first free, national, and public museum: the British Museum, located in Bloomsbury, London. The current collection of artifacts in the British Museum consists of around 8 million items that span across 2 million years of human history, although only 1% (80,000) of the objects are on public display. One of the largest contributors to this collection was Sir Hans Sloane. He was known as a collector of artifacts from around the world. Upon his death in 1753, he gifted his collection of over 80,000 “natural and artificial rarities” to Great Britain. Thus, the Sir Hans Sloane collection became what is considered the founding collection of the British Museum. These items also became the foundation of the British Library and the Natural History Museum.  

The British Museum’s collection was originally housed in the 17th century mansion, Montagu House. It was refurbished multiple times before and after the museum became open to the public in 1759 to make room for the massive collection. However, more room was still needed to hold the British Museum collection, so in 1823 the Montagu House was demolished. In its place came the museum that we know today, Sir Robert Smirke’s enormous Greek Revival style building. This new home for the British Museum collection was completed in 1852. The British Museum’s building and artifact collection are both being expanded and developed to this day.  


“History.” The British Museum

“Sir Hans Sloane.” The British Museum

“Fact Sheet - British Museum.” The British Museum

Margaret Wetzel

Kenwood House is purchased by the 1st Earl of Mansfield

Kenwood House, estimated to have been originally built in 1616 and was home to the Earls of Mansfeild. It was later demolished and rebuilt by the Surveyor-General of the Ordnance, William Bridges and sold in 1704 and shifted many owners until the Earl of Mansfield, William Murray,  purchased it in 1754. In 1764, Murray commissioned Robert Adam to remodel the house for him. He added the most iconic and well-known area of the house: the library.  It was donated to the London City Council and opened to the public in 1927 as a museum of sorts. 


In mid-1790, the house was ransacked as part of the Gordon Riots. While most of the rioters just stole food, many items such as mirrors and paintings were ransacked as well. Murray and his wife fled the house during this time, which allowed the ransacking of the space. The Gordon Riots took place in London over several days to protest anti-catholic sentiments. The riots were a response to the Popery Act of 1698 which enforced stricter laws onto the British people. Kenwood was just one of the casualties of the Riots, as British Banks and Prisons were targeted too. 


After Murray’s death in 1793, Kenwood was inherited by his son, David Murray the 2nd Earl of Mansfeild. It was passed down for generations until the 6th Earl of Mansfielddecided to sell it in 1906 and leased it to the exiled Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia. It was finally bought in 1922 by the Kenwood Preservation council and opened to the public as it contains many historical and art pieces. 


Today, Kenwood still contains paintings like Self Portrait with Two Circles, by Rembrandt, along with many other classical pieces. It is currently under the ownership of the Friends of Kenwood and The English Heritage Trust. 

Work Cited

“Friends of Kenwood Archive .” Friends_of_Kenwood, 20 Oct. 2019, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023.

“Kenwood.” English Heritage, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

“Kenwood House front with extensions.” 27 Nov. 2005 Accessed 18 Feb. 2023.

“Kenwood House (Iveagh Bequest), Non Civil Parish - 1379242: Historic England.” , Non Civil Parish - 1379242 | Historic England, Accessed 18 Feb 2023.


Allison Schroeder
Sep 1768

Opening of the London Tavern

Engraving of the London Tavern in 1809
Engraving of the London Tavern in 1809

            During the 18th century, London was home to many coaching inns and taverns that served as places of rest for travelers. Bishopsgate and surrounding regions were ideal spots for such inns, as, upon the popularization of stagecoach travel in the 17th century, travelers often entered through Bishop’s Gate, an old Roman entrance to the city (McLachlan). One notable inn from this period is the London Tavern, built in September 1768 on the former site of the White Lion Tavern, which had been destroyed in a fire three years prior. The London Tavern notably featured a large dining room with ornate Corinthian columns and other elaborate ornamentation. According to the contemporary account of John Timbs in his Club Life of London, Vol. II, this dining room could hold at least 300 dinner guests for banquets (274). Timbs also further elaborates on the tavern’s decoration, writing, “The walls are throughout hung with paintings; and the large room has an organ,” (274).

            Even shortly after its opening, the London Tavern was the site of numerous important meetings and events. In 1769, for instance, around 400 men formed the Society of the Supporters of the Bill of Rights in the London Tavern (Cash 249). The Society was dedicated to supporting John Wilkes, a controversial member of parliament who championed the individual rights of people associated with the American Revolution and who introduced the first ever motion in the House of Commons to allow for the voting rights of all adult males (Cash 2). Another London Tavern meeting of historical importance is that of the Revolution Society, a group sympathetic to the ideals of the French Revolution that celebrated the cause of the Glorious Revolution, which met in the tavern in 1789 shortly after the fall of the Bastille (Abstract of History 8).

            In the subsequent century, the London Tavern was also visited by Charles Dickens, who presided over a meeting there in 1841 for the benefit of the Sanatorium for Sick Authors and Artists, and who also attended another dinner there in 1851 for the General Theatrical Fund (“London Tavern”). The London Tavern also makes a direct appearance in Dicken’s novel Nicholas Nickleby (Dickens).


Abstract of the History and Proceedings of the Revolution Society, in London. Revolution

Society, 1790, Pamphlet.

Cash, Arthur H. John Wilkes: The Scandalous Father of Civil Liberty. Yale University Press,


Dickens, Charles. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, 1839. Project Gutenberg, 2016.

Engraving of the London Tavern in 1809. Wikipedia, 1809. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“The London Tavern.” The Worshipful Company of Bowyers, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

McLachlan, Sean. “Travel Through Time at England’s Coaching Inns.” British Heritage Travel,

10 Apr. 2023, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Timbs, John. Club Life of London, Vol. II. Richard Bentley, 1866.

Travis Saylor
circa. The start of the month Summer 1780 to circa. The start of the month Summer 1780

The Closing of The Clink (18th century)

The Clink is known as the "most notorious medieval prison"; is also one of the oldest and was in use from 1144 to 1780. The conditions for prisoners here were absolutely horrendous, and most were there because they had debts they couldn't pay. But the prison was originally for heretics. They were all often subject to grueling torture and rooms that regularly flooded, causing bodies to rot from not being able to dry. The clink had two distinct sections, one for men and the other for women. The only way for prisoners to get relief from the torture is if they were lucky enough to have someone on the outside to give money as a bribe to the jailors. These bribes could also bring them more comfortable amenities and food during their stay. Usage of this prison decreased as the years passed, but it was always a loathed place for many. Then in 1780, The Clink was broken into during the Gordon Riots, which were led by Anti-Catholic Protestant Lord Geroge Gordon. That night the rioters freed all prisoners that were still in The Clink before setting the whole thing ablaze. The Click was not ever rebuilt or used again after those riots, and many, if not all, escaped prisoners were not captured again. Today there is a Clink museum in the same spot in Southwark where the prison was originally, but all that still stands from the original is one brick wall.   

The Clink Museum. The Rich and Gory History of the Clink Prison.

The British Library. Map of the Gordon Riots. 

Ian Haywood. The Gordon Riots of 1780: London in Flames, a Nation in ruins. Grahamn College. March 11, 2013


Danielle West-Habjanetz

Construction of Barracks in Knightsbridge

Drawing of the Knightsbridge Barracks
Drawing of the Knightsbridge Barracks

In the 1700s, Knightsbridge was a very different place from what it is now. All throughout the 18th century, Knightsbridge was in very early stages of development with very few new buildings and unpaved, unlit streets, which is a very stark contrast to the Knightsbridge of today. However, following the French Revolution, tensions were high and the threat of soldiers being corrupted by revolutionary influences were very high. Following urban riots in 1792, the government decided the best course of action would be to build barracks in an effort to isolate the soldiers and slow the threat of revolutionary influence on them, so they built a new set of barracks in Knightsbridge. These barracks were quite different from past calvary barracks that had been constructed throughout the years in Britain. 


"Knightsbridge Barracks: The First Barracks, 1792-1877." Survey of London: Volume 45, Knightsbridge. Ed. John Greenacombe. London: London County Council, 2000. 64-68. British History Online. Web. 18 April 2023.

Noah Meckes

Establishment of Russell Square

Russell Square was established in 1801 by Francis Russell, the fifth Duke of Bedford. He commissioned James Burton, the most successful developer at the time, to design and construct the buildings. Russell square was the centerpiece of Russell’s development plan for Bloomsbury to increase economic activity. This plan was extremely successful. Russell Square was the largest square in London at the time, and one of the most desirable places to live in. Not only was Russell Square built in Bloomsbury, the intellectual and literary capital of London, but the square is also within walking distance of The British Museum and Oxford Street. Russell Square quickly became home to the highest of society. Some of the famous residents of Russell Square include the influential poets Thomas Grey, William Cowper, and T.S. Eliot. After the establishment of Russell Square in 1801, Bloomsbury became filled with countless scientists and artists, as shown in Michael Boulter’s novel, “Bloomsbury Scientists."


“Russell Square.” Hidden London, 

“Russell Square.” Bloomsbury Squares & Gardens, 30 Nov. 2021, 

Trimatis, Killian. “A Brief History of Bloomsbury.” TripTide, 

Boulter, Michael. Bloomsbury Scientists PDF. 

Margaret Wetzel
17 Oct 1814

The St. Giles Beer Flood

The London Beer Flood occurred on October 17th, 1814 when the pressure from a 1 million pint beer barrel exploded in the Meux & Co's Horse Shoe Brewery, causing many other barrels to break and begin to flood the brewery, into the streets. Around 570 liquid tons of beer crashed into other barrels quickly flooding the brewery. The force of the explosion caused the bricks of the building to collapse and flood St. Giles neighborhoods, killing eight people. 


The clerk in charge of maintenance that day was George Crick, who survived the flood. He noticed a broken 700- pound hoop on the barrel that had slipped off and decided to let another employee fix it the next day. Before long the barrel had exploded from the pressure, covering the St. Giles Neighborhood in mere minutes. Despite his negligence, the clerk and the brewery were cleared of any wrongdoing by a jury and declared that the caulsties lost their lives by an “act of God,” and that they had died  “casually, accidentally and by misfortune.” All of the people inside the brewery survived. 


Anne Saville was one of the casualties, along with four other people mourning the loss of her two year old son at his wake near to the brewery. The people of St. Giles took to the streets, wading through nearly two feet of beer, in search of people who survived by climbing onto furniture. 


The flood occurred in St. Giles which was a parish of Holbourn that would later form the Borough of Camden. The brewery stood on the corner of Tottenham Court Road, and became an attraction after the flood for a short period of time. Watchmen would charge two-pence for people to see the rubble of the accident. The Brewery would suffer an economic loss, but received a break on the taxes that they had already paid the government. 


Works Cited

Horseshoe Brewery, London, c. 1800.jpg.” 15 Feb. 1906.,_London,_c._1800.jpg Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

KLEIN, CHRISTOPHER. “The London Beer Flood.”, A&E Television Networks, 9 Oct. 2019, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

Tingle, Rory. “What Really Happened in the London Beer Flood 200 Years Ago?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 17 Oct. 2014, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

Allison Schroeder
24 May 1819

Queen Victoria is Born in 1819

Wilkie, David. Victoria, Duchess of Kent, (1786-1861) with Princess Victoria, (1819-1901)
Wilkie, David. Victoria, Duchess of Kent, (1786-1861) with Princess Victoria, (1819-1901)

On May 24, 1819, Alexandrina Victoria was born in the dining room of Kensington Palace amid the “baby race” of the potential succession crisis looming of the late 1810s, delivered by the same woman who also delivered her first cousin and future husband Albert. She grew up in Kensington Palace as well, provided with many talented teachers and tutors but restricted under the “Kensington System.” She resented the restrictive nature of the system’s rules imposed on her by her mother and Sir John Conroy, whom her mother depended on after her husband and Victoria’s father died. Despite this, she was able to tour the country and was seen as a new hope for the country as she was not associated with the negative parts of the dynasty. In the early morning of 20 June 1837, she learned she was then Queen Victoria, as her uncle, the king, had died.
Over the course of Victoria’s reign, the area around Kensington Palace became more urban as cohesive building projects started in the mid-1800s. The Great Exhibition nearby helped draw more people to the area. Notably, buildings were for upper-class residents and artists, as luxury buildings with modern amenities and artistic communities started to appear. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is a royal borough due to their combined connections with royalty. In fact, Victoria wished for Kensington to have the title of a royal borough, which her son Edward VII granted.
Queen Victoria’s legacy reaches far and impacts most of the world. Known as the “Grandmother of Europe” for her many descendants and “Grandmother of the Empire” for her appearance as a ruler, many things have been attributed to her or her family: hemophilia, white wedding dresses, and Christmas trees are just a few examples. Her life story, particularly her marriage to her cousin Albert, has been romanticized many times in film, thanks to her prolific diaries and outward appearance as a happy family, which was true in some respects. However, it has been noted that she was a poor mother, particularly to her son Bertie, or Edward VII. She blamed him for Albert’s death as she wore black for the rest of her life.
Ultimately, however, her life and legacy were immensely important to world history, and that all started at Kensington Palace.

Wilkie, David. Victoria, Duchess of Kent, (1786-1861) with Princess Victoria, (1819-1901). 1821. Royal Collection. Accessed 18 April 2023.

Wilkie, David. The First Council of Queen Victoria. 1838. Royal Collection. Accessed 18 April 2023.

“Growth of a Victorian Suburb.” The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Metropolitan Boroughs.” The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“Queen Victoria.” Historic Royal Palaces, Accessed 18 April 2023.
Ridley, Jane. “Queen Victoria: The Real Story of Her 'Domestic Bliss'.” BBC News, BBC, 1 Jan. 2013, Accessed 18 April 2023.

Kathryn Maille
28 Jun 1838

Queen Victoria's coronation

Queen Victoria's coronation by Sir George Hayter
Queen Victoria's coronation by Sir George Hayter


On May 24th, 1819, Alexandria Victoria was born at Kensington palace to Prince Edward and Princess Victoria. At the time of her birth, she was the heir to the throne after her father. He died shortly thereafter when she was eight months old.

On June 20, 1837, at only 19, princess Victoria was informed that she would be crowned queen, as William the Fourth had passed that morning. She was then coronated on June 28th, 1838 at the Westminster Abbey. There were a considerable amount of mistakes on her coronation day, as it was poorly rehearsed. An elderly peer fell down the steps while making his homage to her, and the coronation ring was put on the wrong finger. However, Queen Victoria was still very excited and proud to be queen. 

Queen Victoria, who ruled over part of the industrial expansion of Britain and helped fuel it into an empire, is often known for her relationship with her husband, Prince Albert. Despite being an arranged marriage, the couple was very much in love, and their display of a loving family unit was impactful on the rest of Britain. It changed the cold and stoic ideas normally surrounding the royal family, and also influenced the way romantic and familial relationships functioned in the public - such as their public affection and gift-giving. The couple also contributed largely to the arts; painters, sculptists, and the performing arts. Many of their gifts to each other were commissioned art pieces. Even after death, their love was strong, as Queen Victoria mourned Prince Albert’s death until her own.


Hawksley, Lucinda. “Victoria and Albert: How a Royal Love Changed Culture.” BBC Culture, BBC, 24 Feb. 2022,

“Queen Victoria.” Westminster Abbey,

“Queen Victoria.” Historic Royal Palaces,

Kierra Weyandt

Harrods Grand Opening in Knightsbridge

Image of Harrods in 1849
Image of Harrods in 1849

In 1849, Henry Charles Harrod founded and opened Harrods department store in Knightsbridge. Harrods has been a staple in Knightbridge ever since this time. It has played a very large role in the affluent environment and society that is still present in Knightsbridge today. Harrods department store started as a one room grocery store in Knightsbridge, and by the 1880s it had expanded into clothing, perfume, food, and medicine. It has now turned into a seven-story luxury department store with over 300 departments where the wealthiest people throughout London and surrounding areas shop. In 1883, Harrods was the scene of a devastating fire which burnt the entire building to the ground. However, Harrods came back bigger and better than ever with a very large expansion encapsulating over one million square feet, allowing it to expand into more departments and cater to larger groups of people. Over the course of the last 200 years, Harrods has changed ownership multiple times, with the most recent owner being the state of Qatar. Throughout the years, Harrods has faced many ups and downs, its existence has played a very prevalent and major role in the history of the Knightsbridge area in London.


BBC. “History of Harrods Department Store.” BBC News, 8 May 2010, Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

Fashion ABC. “Harrods.” Fashionabc, 2023, Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Harrods | Store, London, United Kingdom | Britannica.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 2019, Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

Noah Meckes

Construction of The Greenwich Theatre

Burnley. The Two Facades of the Greenwich Theatre. Greenwich, 3 Feb. 2007.
Burnley. The Two Facades of the Greenwich Theatre. Greenwich, 3 Feb. 2007.

The Greenwich Theatre was built in 1855 by Sefton Parry and was used by the great festival of the Greenwich Fair. The original use was mostly by the Richardson traveling theatre that performed frequently to the masses. The theatre shows an interest in growing the population for drama and theatrical performances. The Richardson traveling theatre would visit the area annually and put on performances of all sorts. The theatre would be rebuilt in 1871 and be named the “Crowder’s Music Hall” and have more musically based performances. The actual theatre would be rebuilt multiple times and go under several shifts in its name and type of art performed. It’s interesting to see how as time goes by and the art changes there is still serious interest by the population as time went on. While the theatre would never reach the heights of the Golden Globe and other theatres in London, there was still a population of people who sought to preserve the theatre whenever it was threatened to be torn down. There have been several reconstructions and rebuilding of the theatre, but it has yet to be ever torn down. The original capacity of the theatre was only 423 seats, but it was said that it would be full when the Richardson traveling theatre came to Greenwich. Even during WWII, the theatre was several damaged by an incendiary bomb that torched a good bit of the inside. However, it was reconstructed. To this day, live performances are still being put on. I don’t think that many people would go out of their way to visit the theatre or even stop in passing to see what it was about, but it still holds a sentimental value to the people of the area. The local history of the theatre is what has saved it and rebuilt it every time. 



“Our History.” Greenwich Theatre, 13 Mar. 2023,

“Theatres and Halls in Greenwich, London.” Theatres and Halls in Greenwich, London,

Aidan Pellegrino

The Separation of Classes Through Rookeries and Palaces

St. Giles

The 1800s ushered in the Regency period from 1811-1820 of architecture with figurehead John Nash prompting Regency Classism through the dominant use of stucco. During this period industrial labor migration flourished and poverty grew as an outcome to the changes in the labor market. The discrepancy between the housing of the royals versus those of the slums was prominent during this time. A slum was referred to as a rookery during the 18th and 19th centuries with a famous rookery located within the St. Giles area of London. Those who enjoyed this era of British culture were the wealthy few.  The most defining aspect of John Nash’s legacy, ignoring his messy relationship with his first wife, was the transformation of Buckingham Palace, as well as the Roya Pavilion and Marble Arch. The Marble Arch was originally designed as the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but today it stands as the entrance to Hyde Park and The Great Expedition. Originally known as Buckingham House, it was privately owned by the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. Today, Buckingham Palace hosts the administrative headquarters of the monarchy since 1837 with Queen Victoria. With the addition of a Cour d’honneur, or an open formal forecourt and bath stone beginning in 1825 and completed in 1853. Henry Mayhew visits the rookery of St. Giles in 1860 and writes:

The parish of St. Giles, with its nests of close and narrow alleys and courts inhabited by the lowest class of Irish costermongers, has passed into a byword as the synonym of filth and squalor. And although New Oxford Street has been carried straight through the middle of the worst part of its slums—"the Rookery"—yet, especially on the south side, there still are streets which demand to be swept away in the interest of health and cleanliness... They [are] a noisy and riotous lot, fond of street brawls, equally "fat, ragged and saucy;" and the courts abound in pedlars, fish-women, newscriers, and corn-cutters.

Government during the 1830s-1870s demolished part of St. Giles for improved transportation routes and sanitation with the specific street being New Oxford Street. The outcome was that the slum was pushed farther back, and It failed to achieve its goal until late 1900s.

“Buckingham Palace.”, A&E Television Networks,


Photograph of The Rookery of St Giles, London, 1850 by Print Collector.,


Hollie Keller
Aug 1888 to Nov 1888

GHASTLY MURDER IN THE EAST END: Jack the Ripper terrorizes Whitechapel

Illustration of Jack the Ripper victim
Illustration of Jack the Ripper victim

One of the most famous serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper, a psuedonym used to sign several letters, is presumed to be responsible for at least a dozen murders between April 1888 and July 1889, but only five, all committed in Whitechapel in 1888, were linked to a single culprit by police. Dubbed "The Canonical Five," these victims were Mary Ann Nichols (August 31), Annie Chapman (September 8), Elizabeth Stride (September 30), Catherine (Kate) Eddowes (September 30), and Mary Jane Kelly (November 9). All of them were believed to be prostitutes, murdered while soliciting on the street, except for Kelly, who was found murdered in her own home. In all five cases, the victim's throat was cut, and the bodily was mutilated with a level of sophistication that suggested the killer knew their anatomy.

In her 2019 book, Hallie Rubenhold adamantly argued that only Kelly was a verifiable prostitute, and while Stride resorted to such on occasion, had not been at the time of her murder. She holds that "the notion that Jack the Ripper was a murderer of prostitutes was a consequence of the misogynistic and class-based prejudices characteristic of the Victorian era" (Jenkins). Alas, the entire case was handled poorly, perhaps contributing to why it went unsolved.

With the industrial revolution came bigger and better printing presses, and as holds true even today, new outlets will report anything to sell papers. After the body of Mary Ann Nichols is found, The Star reported on "Leather Apron," the name they gave the killer. In their write-up, they pointed blame to Jewish butchers, thus sparking more anti-semitism within the district. Throughout the investigation, three letters were sent to police and press, two signed "Jack the Ripper," and the last signed "FROM HELL".

The first, addressed to "The Boss, Central News Office, London, City," came the night of September 30th, 1888, following the murders of Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes. The Cental News Agency has received the letter on the 27th, but waited two days to send it to the Metropolitan Police. The entirety of the letter is the author gloating about how he has yet to be caught, the police and press are idiots, he's rearing to kill again, and, this time, he's going to clip his victim's ears and send them to the police. The next day, a double murder, and, sure enough, Catherine Eddowes was missing part of her ear, but they were still intact, suggesting that her killer was interrupted. The second letter, dubbed the "Saucy Jack" letter, as that is what the author refers to himself as, appeared at the Central News Agency, in similar handwriting to the first. Short and sweet, he continues to boast about getting away with his crimes, mentions how he could not get the ears, and thanks police for "holding on" to his previous letter. Though letters kept pouring in after these were released to the public, there's one that many consider to be the final, legitimate letter. Signed "From Hell," the letter was addressed to the head of the Mile End Vigilance Committee, Mr. George Lusk, and contained part of a kidney, the rest supposedly eaten by the author, per his own words. Conflicting opinions on whether or not the kidney was human, on top of horrific misreporting, makes authenticating the letter difficult. As far as I know, it was a prank by some college students. Alas, this only furthers the point that the mass media coverage may have impeded the investigation.

There has been no end to "possible" suspects, but there are three that are the most cited, and, in my opinion, do make the most sense. Those are: Montague Druitt, a barrister and teacher who was said to have an "interest in surgery", proclaimed insane, and was found dead some time after disappearing following the final murder; Michael Ostrog was a Russian criminal and physician who, apparently, displayed "homicidal tendencies," for which he was admitted to an asylum; and, finally, Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jew who lived in the Whitechapel area, reportedly hated women (especially prostitutes), and was also admitted to a psychiatric hospital following the last murder.

Jenkins, John Philip. "Jack the Ripper". Encyclopedia Britannica, 5 Jan. 2023, Accessed 25 April 2023.

Jones, Richard. “The Dear Boss Letter - Yours Truly Jack the Ripper.” The Dear Boss Jack The Ripper Letter.,

Jones, Richard. “The from Hell Letter - Received by George Lusk.” The From Hell Catch Me When You Can Letter,

Jones, Richard. “The Jack the Ripper Timeline.” The Timeline For The Jack The Ripper Murders,

Logan Wertz
1 Jan 1895

Opening of the Bishopsgate Institute

Image of the Exterior of the Bishopsgate Institute on Opening Day, 1895
Image of the Exterior of the Bishopsgate Institute on Opening Day, 1895

            On New Years Day, 1895, the Bishopsgate Institute first opened its doors to the public. Police were required to manage the nearly 8,000 people who attended the Institute on its opening day. The Bishopsgate Institute itself is the creation primarily of Reverend William Rogers, the rector of St. Botolph’s Church on Bishopsgate beginning in 1863. At this point, Bishopsgate served the unique position as the border between the wealthy region of the City of London and the much poorer East End. Rogers, even before attaining his position as rector, was concerned with the lack of opportunity afforded to the poor of London—particular in their lack of extra income that would provide educational enrichment. Rogers, seeing the conditions of the poor, hoped to create a network of polytechnics that would provide public classes, libraries, and lectures to all. In seeking the realization of this vision, Rogers pressured government officials to allow the use of charitable income to be diverted to educational initiatives, culminating in the City of London Parochial Charities Act in 1883 that allowed for the creation of three learning institutions, including the Bishopsgate Institute (“William Rogers”).

            By 1891, a former stable was selected as the site for Rogers’s proposed Institute in Bishopsgate, but the small site was enclosed by numerous shops and businesses that presented design challenges. Through anonymous submission, seven architects’ designs were considered, with the ultimate commission going to Charles Harrison Townsend. Townsend was a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, an influence that championed simple and authentic design inspired by craftspeople, illustrators, and artists rather than industrial or mass-produced styles. Townsend’s influence is shown in the building even today, as his mosaics and Art Nouveau-inspired style has remained unchanged throughout the past century. Notable especially is the building’s frontage, meant to be bold enough to draw attention from the distracting shops throughout the rest of Bishopsgate (“Charles Harrison Townsend”).

            Also of note is the Institute’s first librarian, Ronald Heaton. Heaton was hired in 1894 and managed the Bishopsgate Library during its first two years of operation. Interestingly, the primary workers of the library were teenage boys from local schools, selected because they were cheaper to hire than the women usually used for library work in academic settings and because of the physically demanding nature of the job. By 1897, though, Heaton resigned due to conflicts between his expected duties organizing the library, lectures, and classes and his preferred scholarly research capabilities (“Charles Goss”).


“Charles Goss and Our Library.” Bishopsgate Institute, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“Charles Harrison Townsend and Our Architecture.” Bishopsgate Institute, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Image of Exterior of the Bishopsgate Institute on Opening Day. Bishopsgate Institute, 1895. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“William Rogers and Our Origins.” Bishopsgate Institute, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Travis Saylor

The Bloomsbury Group

The Bloomsbury Group was a group of writers and artists that came together to share their creative ideas and give each other support. Along with their shared passion for art, they formed close bonds over their shared political and philosophical views including views on feminism, sexuality, and relationships. These beliefs were considered very modern, progressive, and liberal. 

 Although the Bloomsbury Group was founded in 1905 although it didn’t become known as “The Bloomsbury Group” until 1912. The 10 key members of the Bloomsbury Group include: Venessa Bell (painter), Clive Bell (art critic), Virginia Woolf (writer), Leonard Woolf (writer, publisher, political theorist), John Maynard Keynes (economist, art lover), Roger Fry (painter, art critic), E.M. Forster (writer), Lytton Stachey (writer, critic), Sir Desmond MacCarthy (writer), and Duncan Grant (artist, designer). They would meet at the home of Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Woolf at 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London. On Thursdays, the group's writers would meet at the house, and on Fridays, the group's artists would meet at the house.  

Aside from the fact that all the members of the Bloomsbury Group were remarkable individuals that had a great impact on modern culture within their respective fields, they were also famous for their progressive and liberal lifestyle that infuriated people. Many of the group members were homosexual or bisexual, and they had open romantic and sexual relationships with each other. It's important to remember that the group was founded in 1905 and being gay wasn’t decriminalized in England until the 1967 Sexual Offenses Act.  

The known queer Bloomsbury Group Members: 

-Vanessa Bell: Bi 

-Virginia Woolf: Bi 

-John Maynard Keynes: Bi 

-Lytton Stachey: Gay 

-Duncan Grant: Gay 

The Bloomsbury Group members were decades ahead of their time, in art, philosophy, feminism, and sexuality. They paved the way for modern artistic, literary, and philosophical movements and are important icons in both feminist and LGBT history.  


“Lifestyle and Legacy of the Bloomsbury Group.” Tate

Berry, Elizabeth. “Who Are the 10 Key Members of the Bloomsbury Group?” ETheCollector, 7 Apr. 2023,

“A Timeline of LGBT Communities in the UK.” British Library, British Library Board,

Whitaker, Amy. “'Living in Squares, Loving in Triangles': The Literary Legacy of the Bloomsbury Group.” The Bubble, 10 Apr. 2023,

Margaret Wetzel
circa. 1912 to circa. 1912

Rebuilding the Southwark Bridge

In 1912 the Southwark Bridge was rebuilt after the original had been used since 1819. This bridge is especially important because it relieves the traffic on the London and Blackfriars bridges by offering another way to class the Thames River. This rendition of the bridge is still used today. The 1912 bridge improved its construction by building five steel arches and four granite piers, while the 1819 version only had three arches and two piers. The 1912 version was built in the very same place as the original. They managed this by building two temporary bridges on either side of the construction. While the bridge was still being built, pedestrians were allowed to walk across once it was safe enough for them. So while walking to and from the city, they were able to closely watch its construction in their daily lives. The grand opening of the bridge to all traffic was by King George V and Queen Mary. The payment for the bridge was done by the Bridge House Estates Committee of the Corporation of London. The architect was Sir Ernest Geroge, and the engineer was Sir Basil Mott. The stone and steel used in the original bridge were reused in the building of the piers and foundation of the second. So, some of the original bridge from 1819 is still being used today. Under the current five arches, each arch has an additional seven arches underneath to keep the bridge secure by preventing bending, which was a main fault in the construction of the original. That makes for a total of 35 arches in the bridge total made from steel. It was hoped by the city and its inhabitants that the Southwark bridge would help the traffic on the London bridge, but it didn't help nearly as much as they had hoped. The steep approach to the hill made it so the Southwark bridge was still unfavorable and only took on about a quarter of the traffic that the London bridge did. 

Danielle West-Habjanetz
14 Oct 1920

First Women Graduate Oxford

Timeline: 100 years of women’s history at Oxford.” University of Oxford
Timeline: 100 years of women’s history at Oxford.” University of Oxford

On October 14th, 1920, the first women in University of Oxford history received their degrees. Women had been studying at the University for many years prior to 1920, but were never awarded degrees, and were greatly discriminated against. Women were oftentimes prohibited from attending lectures without a chaperone, and even kicked out by individual lecturers and/or professors. Women could not attend lectures without a chaperone until 1914, and could not lecture at Oxford until 1915. To further elucidate how long some women studied at the University without receiving degrees, consider Annie Rogers. Rogers took her exams for her degrees over forty years before matriculation, and was finally awarded her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1920. Other women were present in support of the 130 women who received their degrees that day, including former students and principals of Oxford's women colleges who, ironically, were unable to receive degrees from the University of Oxford.

The matriculation ceremony took place at the University a week prior to the degree awarding ceremony. The ceremony took place in the Oxford Divinity School, which was the oldest building in the University having been built between 1427 and 1483. The building still stands today, and is used mostly for lectures and oral exams. The degree ceremony took place in Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre, which is located in the center of Oxford's medieval city. The theatre was built in 1664 and can still be admired today, as it is considered an "architectural jewel". 

During this time, women all over the world were experiencing extreme resistance in terms of voting rights, education, sexuality, sexual expression, and more. While the 19th amendment was passed in August, 1920 in the United States, legalizing American women to vote, it was not until 1928 that the Equal Franchise Act was passed in England, allowing women to vote. 

Another notable graduate is Cicely Delphine Williams, who was one of the first women to study medicine at the University of Oxford. Just three years later, she became the first female doctor from Jamaica, and ten years after that, she discovered kwashiorkor, an illness caused by insufficient protein intake.


“Sheldionian Theatre” University of Oxford Accessed 20 Apr. 2023

“Timeline: 100 years of women’s history at Oxford.” University of Oxford,they%20could%20take%20their%20degrees. Accessed 20 Apr. 2023.

“1928 Equal Franchise Act” UK Parliament Accessed 20 Apr. 2023.

Emera Page
10 May 1941 to 11 May 1941

The London Blitz

The damage at the Palace of Westminster
The damage at the Palace of Westminster

The Blitz was a bombing campaign from Germany against the United Kingdom during World War two. It started on September 7th, 1940, known as “Black Saturday”. After that, the bombing continued for 57 days, and then regular intermittent bombing after that. The bombings on May 10-11 of 1941 were the worst of them all. 

During The Blitz civilians hid in air raid shelters and in the tube, however over fourty-three thousand civilians were killed over the course of the raids, 1436 of those on May 10-11 - not including the wounded. Citizens were terrorized nightly by these raids, which scattered all across Britain, not just London. The raids happened day or night. After they were finished, many civilians were homeless.

On the night of May 10, over seven hours, Germans dropped over 700 tons of bombs and 86,000 incendiary bombs across London. The House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster, which had been hit once before, was hit again and the building caught on fire. Throughout the night, there were attempts to stop the fire, but it ultimately destroyed the House of Commons. It was eventually rebuilt, and although the room was ruined, parliament was not deterred and continued to meet elsewhere in the palace after the raids.

Impressively enough, Big Ben, the clock tower also on the Palace of Westminster, remained mostly unharmed. It was hit and lightly damaged, but never destroyed during the Blitz. It stood as a source of hope for the people in London.

“The Blitz around Britain.” Imperial War Museums,

“The London Blitz and the Palace of Westminster.” Building of Britain - UK Parliament. 




Kierra Weyandt

First Bazaar Shop Opens

Mary Quant's First Shop, Bazaar, on King's Road.
Mary Quant's First Shop, Bazaar, on King's Road.

 The idea of the “Swinging Sixties” in London and the rise of a youth culture in the decade are intricately linked to the arrival of the miniskirt, popularized by Mary Quant. While she did not invent the style, nor did ever claim to, her store on King’s Road helped popularize it and many other styles important to the time. The opening of her first store, Bazaar, in 1955 with her husband and a friend, was important to the thriving area in the borough, which officially became the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the 60s. King’s Road was a popular shopping area at the time, like other areas in the borough further north that sold vintage clothing. Quant herself was an important figure in Chelsea, and her designs became known as the “Chelsea look.”
An important aspect of her designs and success was the culture of the youth in the area. The miniskirt was inspired by London street style, led by young people, and a cultural shift in the post-war period. The 1960s were a time of liberation for a new generation after the Second World War. Mary Quant’s clothing provided young girls with a contemporary style to differentiate themselves from their mothers. While these designs and developments occurred in the 1960s, the opening of her store on King’s Road, and reputation as the leader of the “Chelsea Set,” young artists and socialites that flocked to the area to explore new lifestyles, were critical in the years to follow. After she became frustrated with the clothing available, she began to design her own clothing for the store, which led to her famous designs.
Many styles and items are commonly attributed to Mary Quant: the miniskirt, hot pants, tight sweaters, and vinyl clothing are all included in the list. Her work was featured on the covers of magazines and is always guaranteed a mention when discussing the decade. The Victoria & Albert Museum has many pieces by Quant and had an exhibition on her work five years ago, but some of her designs are still on display today. She passed away in April of 2023.

Mary Quant's First Shop, Bazaar, on King's Road. 25 August 1966. Accessed 17 April 2023.

Nicolson, Juliet. “Legendary Designer Mary Quant Dies.” Harper's BAZAAR, 14 Apr. 2023, Accessed 18 April 2023.
Rackham, Annabel. “Mary Quant: The Miniskirt and PVC Pioneer.” BBC News, BBC, 13 Apr. 2023, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“V&A · Introducing Mary Quant.” Victoria and Albert Museum, Accessed 18 April 2023.
“V&A · The Miniskirt Myth.” Victoria and Albert Museum, Accessed 18 April 2023.

Kathryn Maille

Development of Kings Road

In the 1900s, a section of Knightsbridge called Kings Road took root. Kings Road was the home to numerous music halls, fashion boutiques, salons, and the like. These types of establishments were truly able to flourish in the affluent environment that Knightsbridge had become by this point. Kings Road saw the opening of Mary Quant's first boutique in the 1960s and the opening of Vivienne Westwood's first boutique in 1971. Kings Road also became the site for gay rights activists in the late 1970s. Kings Road played a tremendous role in helping the whole district of Knightsbridge become what it is today.


“A Brief History of Knightsbridge.”, 2023, Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

Deale, Stevie. “Exploring Chelsea: Discovering the History of King’s Rd | Anatomē.”, 12 Feb. 2020, Accessed 18 Apr. 2023.

Noah Meckes

Brutalism Architecture

Centre Point

The 1900s brought new stylistic approaches to London, a booming city post the Great War. Art Deco, Brutalism, and Post Modernism are among them. Focusing on Brutalist architecture which reigned from 1945 to 1980, it is composed of bare minimum building materials including exposed concrete, and angular shapes. Prominent architects Alison and Peter Smithson referred to Brutalism as “an ethic, not an aesthetic”, which served as an objective way to perceive reality. In addition to this, their goal was to “combine the community of the Victorian slums with the efficiency and density of Le Corbusier’s housing blocks, it instead became known for structural problems and a crippling crime rate and ended the pair’s public career(Goodwin)”. Another goal of their brutalism was to confront observers, travelers, and residents on the realities of their working-class architectural future. These realities included traffic, air pollution, vandalism, and lack of quality. Although not built by Alison and Peter Smithson, Centre Point building in Central London within the St. Giles locale contains major elements of Brutalism. Reaching 34 towers high, it consists of bare concrete grids with glass paneling interior. Construction on Centre Building began in 1963 and was finished in 1966 making it one of London’s first sky-scrappers. Today, it contains flats but previously it was an office space building. After completion, it was vacant for many years and gained the nickname “London’s Empty skyscraper” which, to me, is fitting for Brutalism. With the introduction of a nearby homeless charity, Centrepoint, in 1969, Centre Point garnered little interest from property developers, sellers, and buyers. To me, again, this speaks clearly to Smithson’s ideas of Brutalism. Before it became individual apartment complexes, it was housed by the Confederation of British Industry for 33 years. Today, interior refurbishing led by Almacantar caused less than half its units to be sold. The emptiness and lack of humanness within the apartment at night cause a ghostly feel to it at night.

Davies, Colin (2017). A New History of Modern Architecture. London: Laurence King Publishing. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-78627-056-6.

Goodwin, Dario. “Alison and Peter Smithson: The Duo That Led British Brutalism.” ArchDaily, ArchDaily, 22 June 2020,

Gould, Mark (16 June 2004). "Community spirit"The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2019.

Smithson, Alison and Peter (April 1957). "The New Brutalism". Architectural Design.

Rupert Neate (31 October 2018). "Brutalist market: Flats at London's Centre Point taken off market"The Guardian.


Hollie Keller

London's Astoria Opens

London borough of Camden was founded in 1965. It replaced the metropolitan boroughs of Hampstead, Holborn, and St Pancras. Prior to 1965 these boroughs comprised the historic county of London.


London Astoria, originally built as a warehouse in the 1920’s, was converted into a musical venue theater in the 1970’s. After temporary closing in 1984, the venue would open its doors to different nightclubs. It later became an important part of queer London, as a gay nightclub was founded under a Monday night event called Bang! in 1976. The nightclub, rebranded to G-A-Y, was acquired by DJ and promoter Jeremy Joseph in 1990. Joseph still runs the club today, but it left Astoria in 2008, just before the venue itself closed. 


At the time of it’s permanent closing in 2009 the venue had sold out shows from Amy Winehouse, Metallica, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones and many more. Metallica was well known for their limited CD release of a live recording done at Astoria 2, its sister venue which had a 1,000 seating capacity. 


The location seemed to serve as the appeal for the venue. Situated on the corner of Oxford street, Astoria crammed 2,000 people into its walls for countless shows, many of which were always sold out. 


Astoria would close in 2009 with a final benefit gig featuring artists like Get Cape. Astoria 2 closed shortly after with one final nightclub night. The venue closed in 2009 after being purchased by Crossrail and converted into a transport system. Many criticized this decision as a loss of a historic dive bar, as Astoria had become known as one of the most iconic music venues across the globe. It was projected that the global music economy would take a grave hit after Astoria’s closing, reflected in the loss of ticket sales. 

Works Cited

“Festival Republic Archive.” Festival Republic, 2007, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

Gibson, Owen. “The Astoria Will Be Knocked down to Accommodate Crossrail Station.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Jan. 2009, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 

“London Astoria.” 17 Mar. 2004. Accessed 18 Feb. 2023.

Winwood, Ian. “The Astoria: Share Your Beer-Stained Memories.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 13 Jan. 2009, Accessed 18 Feb. 2023. 


Allison Schroeder
24 Apr 1993

IRA Bombing of Bishopsgate

Image of Aftermath of 1993 Bishopsgate Bombing
Image of Aftermath of 1993 Bishopsgate Bombing

            On April 24, 1993, the Irish Republican Army detonated a car bomb outside of 99 Bishopsgate that caused massive damage to London’s financial district, injuring 44 and killing one (“Bishopsgate Bomb”). According to witnesses, most of the windows from nearby skyscrapers were shattered, spreading glass and debris throughout the streets. The explosion also created a large crater near the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation building (Schmidt). Additionally, the medieval St. Ethelburga’s church and the nearby Liverpool Street station were reduced to rubble. The explosion came a year after another IRA bombing destroyed the nearby Baltic Exchange, while the Warrington IRA bomb killed three children just a month prior (“BBC on This Day”).

            About an hour prior to the explosion, the police received a coded telephone call from the IRA warning about the bomb. Despite some evacuations, a significant number of people were still affected by the blast, often being knocked unconscious (Schmidt). In response to the Bishopsgate explosion and other IRA bombings, the City of London police created a “ring of steel” around the financial district, creating roadblocks and other security measures meant to prevent terrorism (“BBC on This Day”). Many roads into the City were closed or made exit-only, and police monitored routes into the area 24 hours a day (“Bishopsgate Bomb”). Such checkpoints, however, were phased out following a ceasefire with the IRA in 1994 (“New ‘Ring of Steel’”). As a final note, over 2,000 rubbish bins were also phased out following the attack as an added security measure. Rubbish bin totals for the region remain below 100 (“Bishopsgate Gets Bins”).

            As Bishopsgate serves primarily as a financial district, those injured by the blast were predominantly office workers, security, and tourists rather than permanent residents (Schmidt). A security guard at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation building was knocked unconscious by the blast, for instance. In the Moorgate Underground station, commuters and other passengers likewise felt the blast—though it caused primarily panic rather than any injury (Schmidt). In total, the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate cost £350 million in repairs, and the “ring of steel” created in response served as a model for later security measures by the City of London police following the 2016 truck attack in Berlin (“BBC on This Day”; “New ‘Ring of Steel’”).


“BBC on This Day | 24 April | 1993: Ira Bomb Devastates City of London.” BBC News, BBC,

24 Apr. 1993, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“Bishopsgate Bomb: Photos Issued on 25th Anniversary.” BBC News, BBC, 24 Apr. 2018, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“Bishopsgate Gets Bins Back 20 Years After IRA explosion.” BBC News, BBC, 14 Aug. 2023. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Image of Aftermath of 1993 Bishopsgate Bombing. BBC News, 24 Apr. 2018. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

“New 'Ring of Steel' Planned for London Square Mile.” BBC News, BBC, 24 Dec. 2016, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Schmidt, William E. “1 Dead, 40 Hurt as a Blast Rips Central London.” The New York Times,

The New York Times, 25 Apr. 1993, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Travis Saylor

Maritime Greenwich

Moleitau. Greenwich Park, Royal Observatory Greenwich and National Maritime Museum in the Snow. 2 February 2009.
Moleitau. Greenwich Park, Royal Observatory Greenwich and National Maritime Museum in the Snow. 2 February 2009.

Greenwich London has always been home to the Royal Observatory and many other groundbreaking times for the Royal Navy. Despite Greenwich not properly being a part of London until much later in time, the area has served a significant purpose for a while. The official naming of Maritime Greenwich encompasses Royal Greenwich Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, and the Old Royal Naval College. As of 1997, the area was dedicated as a World Heritage site and recognized for its longstanding history of maritime ventures. As I’ve researched and done more and more digging in Greenwich, I have found that it is the ugly stepsister of London. The borough’s traffic of people pales in comparison to other more prominent boroughs, but the people of the borough keep its history intact. The Maritime Greenwich represents a glowing achievement for the British in many fields of science and technology. The observatory is still functioning today and has tons of invaluable information that anyone can visit and see. It is also home to the Prime Meridian Line which sets the standard for everyone else in the world. The National Maritime Museum has on display some of the oldest British, and not British, ships that are still together. The glimpse into the past is amazing to see how ships have changed and how Britain dominated the seas for hundreds of years. Finally, the Old Royal Naval College was one of the most pristine colleges that the Navy had. The college produced thousands of officers for the Navy and even had a section for women to train and join the Navy. The encirclement of all the historical sites under the Maritime Greenwich title and its becoming a World Heritage Site shows the distance traveled by the people of Greenwich. The museums serve as a timestamp of where Greenwich was and where it is going to go. 



“Greenwich.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 17 Mar. 2023,


“Maritime Greenwich.” UNESCO World Heritage Centre,

Aidan Pellegrino
14 Jun 1997 to 14 Jun 1997

Third Restoration of The Globe Theater

The Globe Theater that we will be visiting is not the original but rather the third recreation of the theater in London. It was originally opened in 1599. On June 29th, 1613, the Globe burned to the ground and then was rebuilt on the same foundation and reopened the following year. It was then destroyed again in 1644 after being closed down two years prior due to the banning of theater productions by the Puritans. After the demolition, the land where the Globe once was had homes built overtop of it. During this period, all the theaters in London were destroyed. Actors were beaten and arrested, and there were fines given to those who watched plays. The current Globe is a recreation of the first, with the only changes being important safety regulations and better structural design. This recreation stands about 750 feet away from the ground that held the original. This rebuild was pushed for by the actor/director Sam Wanamaker for 20 years before its final creation. The Globe Theater reopened completely in 1997 but was used for some smaller performances for two years before. It had been 384 years since the theater put on a full-season selection of shows. 

Behind the News, 2018. What is the Globe Theater?- Behind the News. Available at: <> 

Saunders, J and Beckerman, B., 1963. Shakespeare at the Globe, 1599-1609. Shakespeare Quarterly, 14 (2), p.167

Wanamaker, S., 1989. Shakespeare's Globe Reborn. RSA Journal, Vol. 138 (5401)

Danielle West-Habjanetz
21 May 2023 to 30 May 2023

Penn State Altoona London Calling Group is IN LONDON!

Welcome to London image
Welcome to London image

Penn State Altoona London Calling Group is IN LONDON!

Laura Rotunno
31 May 2023

Our Return to Dulles

Inside Dulles airport
Inside Dulles airport

We return to Dulles.

Doug Page