10 (more) curious London memorials…8. The SOE Memorial…

Tucked away on Albert Embankment just to the north of Lambeth Bridge, this moving memorial was only unveiled in 2009 and formally honours the under-cover agents who worked for the Allies behind enemy lines during World War II. The plinth is topped with a larger-than-life bust of Londoner Violette Szabo, sculpted by London artist Karen […]

This Week on London – New Blue Plaques for women; Aubrey Beardsley at the Tate; and, the kimono scrutinised…

• Two World War II spies, one of the 20th century’s greatest artists and and a leading figure in the British military’s women’s corps in World War I are among women being honoured with Blue Plaques this year. English Heritage unveiled plans this week for six female-focused plaques with the first to celebrate Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan […]

This Week in London – Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost garden”; Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms; artworks celebrate women’s stories; and, Beast Quest at Hampton Court…

• The “lost garden” of Sir Walter Raleigh opens at the Tower of London on Saturday, marking the 400th anniversary of the famous explorer’s death. Sir Walter, an adventurer who was a court favourite in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and enemy of King James I, was imprisoned in the tower on three occasions, […]

10 (lesser known) memorials to women in London – 4. Noor Inayat Khan…

Located in Gordon Square Gardens in King’s Cross, this bust commemorates British agent Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944), who was executed during World War II. Khan, who was of Indian descent (in fact, a direct descendent of Tipu Sultan of Mysore), had escaped to England from her home in Paris after the fall of France during […]

LondonLife – Celebrating International Women’s Day…

It’s International Women’s Day, so we’re celebrating by remembering two heroic women immortalised in statues in central London. Above is Edith Cavell, a British nurse who was trapped in Brussels by advancing German armies in 1914 and then subsequently arrested for aiding French and British soldiers to escape before being executed by firing squad on 12th […]

Treasures of London – Daniel Defoe grave memorial, Bunhill Fields…

Located in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground in City Road, this memorial to Daniel Defoe, the author of numerous books including Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders as well as a journalist, pamphleteer and ‘provocateur’ or spy, wasn’t erected until 1870, almost 140 years after his death. After he died in 1731 at the age of 70, Defoe was among the more […]

Lost London – The Pillories…

Once a visible sign of London’s legal system, the city had several pillories which were used to degrade and humiliate those offenders put within them. Originating in medieval times, the pillories were wooden contraptions in which a standing person’s head and hands were held in place and exposed to the ridicule of the crowd (not […]

10 curious London memorials recapped (and vote for the one that most moves you)…

We’re kicking off a new special series next Wednesday but in the meantime we thought we’d recap our latest series – 10 (more) curious London memorials, and the previous series, 10 curious London memorials… So, first for the 10 (more) curious London memorials list… 10. Memorial to 16th century navigators… 9. The Speke Monument… 8. The SOE Memorial… […]

10 (more) curious London memorials…1. Kindertransport memorial

Way back in 2011 we ran a series looking at some of London’s most curious memorials. We’ve decided to revisit that theme in our new special series. To kick it off, we’re taking a look at a group memorial found just outside Liverpool Street Station and dedicated to the thousands of Jewish children who arrived […]

10 Historic London Markets – 3. Billingsgate Market…

Now the UK’s largest inland fish market (and located in Poplar, east London), the history of Billingsgate Market goes back centuries. Known originally by various spellings including Blynesgate and Byllynsgate, Billingsgate may have been named for watergate on the north bank of the Thames near where the market was originally established (an alternate theory is […]

What’s in a name?…Shoreditch

The origins of the name Shoreditch – now a slowly gentrifying area to the north of the City of London within the Borough of Hackney – are lost to time but there are a few interesting theories around. While the name probably comes to us as a derivation of Soersditch or Sewer Ditch – perhaps […]