Friday, December 04, 2020

Temple Bar Gate

London The Unfinished City
The only surviving gateway to the City of London.

It was a particularly cold Saturday morning, with a persistent drizzle, as I wandered around the City of London.

The streets were emptier than normal, even for a weekend, as I made my way down past Barbican to Postman's Park and onward towards St. Paul's Cathedral. 

As I entered Paternoster Square, which was deserted, I found this stone gateway. The rain and diffused light seemed against me getting a decent photograph, but I persevered and ended up with the image above.

 It is a remarkable gateway with an intriguing past. I will endeavour to visit the area, again, in the hopes of getting some better shots.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

London Stone


London The Unfinished City
The London Stone, in its new housing, on Cannon Street.

I first discovered The London Stone back in January 2009, when wandering the streets one evening.

It was hidden in a recess, on Cannon Street, with glass and a metal grate to protect it. The grime, from the passing traffic, had discoloured the protective glass and, although it was lit, it was hard to make out.

I took a photo, just to document what I had seen, and headed on my way.

It was only following some research in to this strange lump of limestone, that I discovered its importance.

I have returned to see the London Stone in its new home, still on Cannon Street, and am pleased to report that it now sits clearly, for everyone to see.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

St Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury

London The Unfinished City
The remains of St Mary Aldermanbury church.

Thursday October 29, 2020

Meandering my way through Holborn on my way toward Euston station, I passed by the remains of St Mary Aldermanbury church, which is situated beside the City of London Police HQ.

Considering its location within the City of London, it is a tranquil place to sit and relax. The footprint of the church is all that remains, with trees and shrubs having been planted to bring the area to life.

Benches are placed around a small square, so that you can relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Although only parts of the walls remain, the church lives on... across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

'Monolith' by Arthur Fleischmann

London The Unfinished City
"Its origin and purpose still a total mystery."

Wednesday October 28, 2020.

I have long been an enthusiast of science fiction films and books, with Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey being among my favourites. 

I had heard that the original concept for the 'monolith' called for it to be transparent, which would allow for visual effects to be layered onto it. 

However, when Kubrick saw the finished piece he decided against using it, opting to go with the now famous black basalt 'monolith'. 

London The Unfinished City
'Monolith' plaque.

After a little online searching I found that the original acrylic 'monolith' was on display, in London, so I set about discovering it. I found it, too, affixed to a wall in St Katharine Docks.

Sunday, October 04, 2020

'Faith in the City of London' by photographer Niki Gorick

London The Unfinished City
Candid conversations and sermons.

Were you aware that, within London's Square Mile, there are over 40 churches? I wasn't.

Back in October 2019 a Kickstarter campaign reached its goal and this book, 'Faith in the City of London' by Niki Gorick, was the result. I was one of the 140 backers and opted for a signed copy that also came with a thank you card with personal message.

It took Niki over 200 visits over four years, with unprecedented access to family weddings, festivals, events and some hidden rituals. Each photograph was caught as it happened, with nothing posed or staged. 

The result is a book that captures and reveals the close ties between the 40-odd churches, that lie within the Square Mile, and the financial district of London, all captured in over 150 photographs. The introduction is by art critic Edward Lucie-Smith and the foreword is by the Lord Mayor of London, William Russell.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

'The World Turned Upside Down' by Mark Wallinger

London The Unfinished City
An Upside Down World, in London.

Thursday September 10, 2020.

As I have said before, aimlessly wandering the streets of London can lead to some intriguing finds. So, you can imagine my surprise when I turned a corner and found myself face-to-face with the world, but turned on it's poles.

It stands on a small pedestrian plaza at Portugal Street, just down from 'The Old Curiosity Shop', near the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) building.

There is a plaque, that reads:

LSE is a place where people with different perspectives engage in

respectful debate about major issues of the world.

The World Turned Upside Down is a work of art by Mark Wallinger.

It is his representation of the world in 2019.

The designated borders, colours, and place names do not imply

endorsement by LSE concerning the legal status of any territory

or borders. There are many disputed borders and the artist has

indicated some of these with an asterisk.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Victorian Vespasienne


London The Unfinished City
A Victorian Vespasienne (Pissoir)

Thursday September 10, 2020

One of the advantages of wandering, sometimes aimlessly, around the great city of London, is that you get to make some unique discoveries.

This is what happened as I made a meandering way from Euston station to Southwark. Taking a left here and a right there, I soon found myself near Lincoln's Inn Fields. As I continued, in a southeasterly direction, I found myself in a narrow alley, named Star Yard, at which point I noticed this cast-iron toilet block.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Crossbones Graveyard & Garden of Remembrance

London The Unfinished City
Idols in the Crossbones Garden.
 Thursday September 10, 2020.

And well we know
How the carrion crow
Doth feast in our Cross Bones graveyard.
        - John Constable

I have long been fascinated with the history of the Crossbones Graveyard, but access to it was always a hit-and-miss affair, due to the site being run by volunteers. So, whilst halfway through a 10 mile walk, I was surprised to find that the gates were open and I was welcomed inside. 

I walked along a covered, curving wooden walkway, which was covered in hops, and entered the Garden of Remembrance. All about were plants, shrubs, trees in raised beds of dry-stone walls. The soft lapping of water from an ornamental stream and a pond, barely discernible among the tall grass, was home to a myriad of insects and pond life.

All about were small shrines, adorned with talismans and gifts left by the many visitors. Incense, wafting on the cool breeze, made the entire garden seem even more peaceful. It was hard to believe I was stood not far from London Bridge station and Borough High Street, such was the tranquillity of the place. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

National Army Museum

London The Unfinished City
Napoleon's horse, Marengo, with a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Friday February 21, 2020

As the schools were closed and I had the day off from work, I decided to take Erin and Keilyn to the Unfinished City, and maybe check out a museum.

We boarded the usual Metropolitan line train and disembarked at Baker Street, where we caught a Circle line train. Our idea was to alight at South Kensington, which was the closest station to the Science and Natural History museums. However, as we pulled into the station, we noticed that it was full of parents and children, obviously having decided to check out the museums, too. So, we stayed on the train and got off at Sloane Square, which was deserted.

A short walk down Sloane Gardens brought us to Royal Hospital Road, where we took a right and ended up at the National Army Museum.