Dickens's Dictionary of London, by Charles Dickens, Jr., 1879
Compiled by Lee Jackson
Used with permission
Billingsgate so called, ac-cording to Geoffrey of Monmouth, after Belin King of the Britons, who built the first water-gate here in 400 B.C., styled by Fuller "the Esculine gate of London," and has been for the last fiof sprave centuries the great fish-market of the metropolis. It is built of red brick, with stone dressings and a campanile, and stands on the left bank of the river, a little below London-bridge. The market opens at 5 a.m. throughout the year, the fish being sold by tale, except in the case of salmon, which is sold by weight, and shellfish, which are sold by measure. It is one of the curious sights of London, but it is not well to go very elaborately dressed, or with too dainty ears. It is only fair, however, to say that the good old days of the "fish-fag " are now over, and nothing worse in the way of "Billingsgate" will be heard than at any other place where rough work is being done in a hurry. Nevertheless, it requires coolness and presence of mind to pay a visit to Billingsgate with safety. Thames-street is narrow, crowded, and not over savoury. The pavements are narrow, and men are hurrying across them with boxes of oranges, for this is the centre of the Levant and Spanish fruit trade; waggons from the docks block the street; costermongers' carts dodge in and out as best they may; everyone is intent upon business, and a man who comes on pleasure must shift for himself. Billingsgate is smelt before it is seen: there is a whiff of fresh fish and of red herrings, a tarry seaside smell which is not altogether disagreeable. Perhaps upon first visiting Billingsgate the feeling is one of disappointment: the show of fish is not great, for there is but little retail trade, but a little examination shows how immense is the trade carried on. At the river side are taut steamers which have just come in from the North Sea; piled up in thousands are boxes with fish from Yarmouth and Lowestoft and the eastern fishing places, and from the southern ports. There are hundreds of baskets and hampers of herrings, of mackerel, boxes of soles and of flat fish, tons of cod, thousands of lordly turbot, and any quantity of whiting, plaice, and mullet. Be-sides all these there are quantities of shrimps, and, if it be the season, baskets upon basket of delicate smelt and whitebait. The river fish are represented only by salmon, and perhaps a few trout, but what a magnificent representation it is! Hundreds, nay thousands, of splendid fish which have come in ice, from Scotland principally, but some from Wales, some from Galway and the Irish rivers, some even from Norway. It is in the early morning or in the evening that Billingsgate is seen at its fullest, and perhaps the scene at night is the most characteristic. The market is well lighted, is thronged by a crowd of fishmongers and costermongers, and the din of the shouting sales-men is bewildering. If the weather has been stormy, the supply poor, the fish consequently dear, the costermonger element will soon thin out. There is no chance at such a time for them to buy fish at such a price as will enable them to sell to the working classes, and accordingly they all turn their attention to oranges, or if these are out of season, will go off for the night, and start for Covent-garden at daybreak to get a load of vegetables-perhaps even go down to a market-garden miles out, and buy the barrow-load there. Of all the population of London there are none who work longer hours for a living than do these itinerant vendors; their labour commencing at daybreak, and extending until eleven or twelve at night. NEAREST Rail-way Stats. ,Mansion House (Dist.), Cannon-st (S.E.), and Fenchurch. street; Omnibus Routes, Cannon-street, King William-street, Grace-church-street, Fenchurch. street, and London-bridge; Cab Rank, Fish-street-hill.
Blackfriars Bridge is one of the handsomest in London, and would have a still better effect were not its appearance so seriously marred by the proximity of its neighbour, the Alexandra (London Chatham and Dover Railway) bridge. It was built in 1864-9 by Mr. William Cubitt from the designs of Mr. Page, architect also of Westminster-bridge, and though showing a tendency towards the same defects in design which occur in that structure, is beyond all question an immense advance upon it. It crosses the river in five spans, the centre span being 185 ft. The piers are of granite, surmounted by recesses resting on short pillars of polished red Aberdeen granite, and with ornamental stone parapets. The parapet of the bridge itself is very low, which, with the extreme shortness of the ornamental pillars at the pier ends, gives the whole structure rather a dwarfed and stunted look; but the general out-line is bold and the ensemble rich, if perhaps a trifle gaudy, especially when the gilding, of which there is an unusual proportion, has been freshly renewed.
Bloomsbury is the district bounded on the south by New Oxford Street, on the west by Tottenham Court Road, on the north by the Euston-Road, and on the east by Gray's-inn. It was at one time a fashionable quarter of the town, and contains several good squares, among them Bed-ford, Russell, Brunswick and Tavistock Squares. The houses in the two former of these are large, roomy, and substantially built; whilst both for houses and garden Russell-square is incomparably the finest in London. Rents, very moderate; but the Bedford Estate leases are rather stringent. To strangers its chief interest is that in Russell-street, Bloomsbury, stands the British Museum. Although no longer a fashionable, it is still an eminently respectable district of Lon-don, and as it is not traversed by any main thoroughfares, its streets and squares, with the exception of some few which axe still paved with the old heavy stones, are remarkably quiet, and free from noise and bustle. NEAREST Rail-way Station, Gower.street; Omnibus Routes, Marylebone-road. Tottenham.Court Road, Gray's-inn-road, and Oxford-street.
Bond Street is, next only to Regent-street, the main artery between the great thoroughfares of Oxford-street and Piccadilly. It was once, par excellence, the fashionable street of London. Here the "beaux" of one period and the "bucks" of another strolled up and down, criticising the exterior of others, and showing off their own. In those days a man was made or marred by the fold of his neck-cloth or the set of his Coat, and men took more pains then, and spent as much thought on their attire as did women. In this respect Bond-street is entirely changed; it is no longer a lounge, and those who would see the "lounger" of the present day must look for him in the "Row.' Except, indeed, in Pall Mall, there is too much traffic and bustle for the languid walk which appears to be one of the marked characteristics of "beaux" of all times and of all nations; and the ghost of Brummel would sigh over a Bond-street occupied by a busy throng of foot-passengers, and invaded by omnibuses. As a fashionable Street it has been eclipsed by Regent-street, but in point of high-class shops it can still hold its own against its younger rival, and It is strong in exhibitions and art galleries. In this respect a great addition has been made by the erection by Sir Coutts Lindsay of the Grosvenor Gallery, a handsome building on the western side of the street. On the same side of the Street are the Belgian and Danish Galleries, while on the eastern side is the Dore Gallery, devoted solely to the pictures of the great French artist. NEAREST Railway Stations, St. James's-park and Portland-road; Omnibus Routes, Oxford-street, Piccadilly, Park-lane, Bond-street, and Regent-street; Cab Ranks, Woodstock-street and St. James's- Street.
Borough (The) -The Borough lies on the Surrey side of London-bridge, and is one of the busiest and most crowded parts of London. The scene at the open space at the foot of the bridge, where innumerable streets seem coming up from the lower grounder side, others emerging from under railway arches, and all contributing their share to the great flow of traffic, is bewildering. The traffic here is of a different character from that at that other great centre in front of the Mansion House. There are comparatively few hansom cabs, except those which come down from the great group of railway stations; there are omnibuses, but not in very great numbers; the bulk of the traffic is in great wagons and vans and in carts of all kinds. The beautiful church of St. Savious's, close to the western corner of the southern approach to the bridge, although externally spoilt and dwarfed the high level line of railway which runs by its side, is one of the ecclesiastical gems of London.
Buckingham Palace is a building as devoid of architectural pretensions as could well be found even in London. It is the only royal palace in London ever used by the Queen as a residence, and until within the last few years was confined exclusively to that purpose, both drawing-rooms and levees being held at St. James's. Latterly the crush at the former has been found unendurable, and they have been transferred to the larger rooms of Buckingham Palace. The building itself has been considerably enlarged since it was first built in the reigns of George IV and William IV., on the site of old Buckingham House, and the interior arrangements are now fairly handsome and tolerably commodious. It is not, however, nor can it ever be, a really fitting town palace for the sovereign of England. There are some few good pictures, but no regular collection. The part of the establishment best worth seeing is the Royal Stables, for which an order must be obtained from the department of the Master of the Horse. The gardens, occupying the space on the north front-where are Her Majesty's private apartments-between Constitution-hill and Grosvenor-place, are interesting. NEAREST Railway Stations, Victoria and St. James's-park; Omnibus Routes, Grosvenor-place, Victoria-street, Whitehall, and Piccadilly; Cab Rank, James-street.
Camden Town lies to the north-east of Regent's -park on London clay, and is a moderately. rented neighbourhood, with, as a rule, very moderate-sized houses. Quite small houses of six, eight, and ten rooms each can here be found, and it is, relatively to its distance from Charing-cross, the cheapest neighbourhood, so far as rent is concerned, in London. NEAREST Railway Stations, Gower.street and Camden . mad ; Omnibus Routes, Hampstead-road and Albert-road.
Cannon Street is one of the greatest of the improvements which have been effected in modern London. It is a noble thorough-fare of great width, leading from St. Paul's-churchyard to the end of King William-street. Its construction has relieved Cheapside of the greater part of the heavy traffic. Indeed were Cannon. Street now closed, Cheapside would become impassable. Cannon-street is a street of wholesale warehouses, and a few sample goods in each window alone tell the passer-by the nature of the immense stock contained in them. Here are representatives of many of the largest foreign as well as English firms; and there are large stores of goods from Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Belfast and, indeed, from every large manufacturing town in the kingdom. In Cannon-street are the station of the South Eastern Railway, and the Mansion House Station of the Metropolitan, situated at the point where Queen Victoria-street runs diagonally across Cannon-street. In the wall of St. Swithin's Church, opposite the South-Eastern Station, will be found that curious relic of old London, called London Stone. In the Roman days distances were measured from this point. The various narrow streets running between Cannon-street and Cheapside contain many of the most important warehouses and firms of the City. The locality is specially affected by firms connected with the trades in cotton and other textile fabrics.
Charing Cross is a position rather than a place, and may be described as the triangular piece of roadway where Parliament-street runs into the south side of Trafalgar-square. It is the centre of London, the point from which distances are measured. A line drawn north and south through it may be said to separate the Lon-don of pleasure and fashion from that of work and business. Of the original cross no vestige remains, not even a stone to mark where it stood. It stands reproduced in front of the Charing-cross Hotel, and one cannot but regret that so beautiful an object should be placed there instead of in the centre of the wide roadway looking down Parliament-street.-(See also TRA-FALGAR-SQUARE.)
Charing Cross Bridge stands on the site of the old Hungerford Suspension-bridge, which was removed in 1863 to Clifton. The lower parts of the two brick piers, on which were built the supporting towers of the old bridge, still remain, and have been utilised for the new work. They are supplemented by two intermediate set of iron piers; a large number of which also support the fan-shaped extension of the bridge towards the station. Along either side of the bridge runs a footpath; that on the eastern side being open to passengers, and affording the shortest route from all the Charing--cross district to the Waterloo Station. These footpaths, however, are not an integral portion of the structure, but are carried on small supplementary girders bolted on to the bridge proper.
Cheapside - Cheapside re-mains now what it was five centuries ago, the greatest thoroughfare in the City of London. Other localities have had their day, have risen, become fashionable, and have sunk into obscurity and neglect, but Cheapside has maintained its place, and may boast of being the busiest thoroughfare in the world, with the sole exception perhaps of London-bridge. Here the two great arteries of Oxford-street and Holborn and of the Strand and Fleet-street from the west, and of Bishopsgate and Leadenhall from the east, together with a mighty stream of traffic from Moorgate on the north and King William-street on the south, are all united, and the great flow of traffic is constantly blocked and arrested by the cross tide setting its from Southwark-bridge up Queen-street. Much as we should marvel to see the shops of our ancestors, open in front (as they are still in such localities as the New Cut and in the poorer parts of London, with the apprentices standing at the doors, keeping up a fire of chaff with each other, varied by the cry of "What do you lack? what do you lack?" our progenitors would be equally astonished to see Cheapside as it is. In its importance as a place of trade it has decayed. The great whole-sale houses are in Cannon-street, or in the narrow lanes-they can hardly be called streets-which run -right and left from Cheapside, and the bright displays made by the Flemish merchants, the great traders of Genoa, and the cunning artificers of Milan, are gone. Milliners and mantua-makers, and the shops of those who sell female apparel, are conspicuous by their absence. Cheapside is almost monopolised by men's shops: hosiers and shirtmakers, tailors and tobacconists, and above all by jewellers. There are few of the bracelets and -brooches which make such a show in the windows of West-end jewellers; watches, albert chains, signet rings, and scarf pins have the places of honour; but the City man, after a successful speculation, would have no difficulty in finding ladies' watches and jewellery to take home as a present to his wife or daughters. Sir John Bennett stands at the head of the watch-makers of Cheapside, and his clock, with movable figures which strike the chimes and hours, is one of the sights of the place. Bow Church, with its projecting clock looking up and down the street, is one of the few relics of the Cheapside of the past. Until lately the Poultry contained many houses of consider-able antiquity, but it was at last felt that the narrow gut of this lane was an intolerable nuisance in the face of the enormously increasing traffic, and the whole of the northern side of Cheapside, from King-street to the corner of Princes-street,has now been thrown back, to the immense convenience of traffic, and to the advantage of Cheapside in general by the open view now given of the Royal Exchange and adjoining buildings. From Cheapside, King-street leads up to the Guildhall, around which centre the traditions of the municipality of the City of Lon-don, a body which has from the earliest times been distinguished for its independence and its fearlessness. Cheapside is always crowded, always a wonder to strangers and foreigners, but the best time to see it is either at 9 am., when the great tide of traffic is flowing into the City, or between 5 and 7 p.m., when the offices and warehouses are closing, and the tens of thousands of business men are off again to their homes. The stranger will be particularly struck with the absence of women from the moving crowd in Cheapside and indeed generally in the City. In the evening the proportion is larger than it is during the day, for the hands from the great bonnet and mantle warehouses are then pouring out but at other times there is scarcely a woman to be seen to every hundred men. Strangers, and especially ladies, walking in the City should be very careful in keeping their proper side of the footway, for if they get out of the stream they are not unlikely to find themselves very disagreeably jostled.
Chelsea, once a quiet village, three miles from London is now a densely populated locality, and lies between the Brompton road and the Thames, Sloane-st being its eastern boundary, while its western boundary is indeterminate, as it is still growing. It gives its name to a parliamentary borough, which includes the Kensington and Hammersmith parishes. Chelsea contains a great population of the working class. Chelsea is Radical, while Kensington may be looked upon as Conservative; Hammersmith being a mixed parish. St. Luke's, Chelsea, is one of the finest parish churches in London. It is remarkable also inasmuch that the parish clerk must be a priest in orders, and the post was held for some rime by the Rev. Charles Kingsley, whose father was for many years the rector of St. Luke's. The principal public buildings are the Barracks, Chelsea Hospital, and the Military Asylum. NEAREST Railway Sta-tions, Sloane-square and Chelsea; Omnibus Routes, Sloane-street, King's-road, and Fulham-road
City of London (The)-The Municipality of the City originally exercised jurisdiction over London proper, but the town has so out-grown its original limits that the Corporation is now entirely surrounded by rival powers, and may be called in truth an imperium in imperio. The City is divided into wards. each of which returns a member of the Upper House or Aldermen, and again into precincts, returning the members of the Common -Council or House of Commons. The Lord Mayor, who his year of office is the constitutional king of the City, is nominally elected by the members the Livery, but, as a matter of fact, is chosen from the members of the Court of Aldermen in rotation. Occasionally an extremely popular Lord Mayor is re-elected for a second term of office, and instances have been known where a still longer lease of power has been granted; on the other hand, the alderman first on the rota has been passed over and a junior preferred. The Lord Mayor exercises high judicial functions as chief magistrate of the City. The City has from time immemorial enjoyed the great privilege of appointing its own judicial functionaries, and many highly distinguished lawyers have figured on the roll of the Recorders of the City of London. The Sheriffs of London are also Sheriffs of the county of Middlesex, and are elected by the Livery. The City has its own police, and the Livery possesses many privileges conferred and confirmed by a series of royal charters, of which they are properly tenacious. Within the boundaries of the City the Corporation has taxing power, notably in the case of coal and wine dues. It is difficult to attain to any exact knowledge of the manner in which the civic revenues are expended, but, although it is quite possible that a more economical system of expenditure might be adopted, the vast sums of money disbursed of late years in improvements of great public advantage, such as the Holborn Viaduct, the great meat and poultry market in Smithfield, &c., speak volumes in favour of the public spirit of the Corporation. The official palace of the Lord Mayor is the Mansion House, the head-quarters of the Corporation are at the Guildhall.
Covent Garden - No visitor to London should miss paying at least two visits to Covent-garden: one at early morning. Say at 6am.- the hour is an untimely one, but no one will regret the effort that the early rising involves-to see the vegetable market; the other, later on, to see the fruits and flowers. All night long on the great main roads the rumble of the heavy waggons seldom ceases, and before daylight the "market" is crowded. The very loading of these waggons is in itself a wonder, and the wall-like regularity with which cabbages, cauliflowers, turnips, are built up to a height of some 12ft. is nothing short of marvellous. Between 5 and 6 o'clock the light traps of the green-grocers of the metropolis rattle up, and all the streets around the market become thronged with their carts, while the costermongers come in in immense numbers. By 6o'clock the market is fairly open, and the din and bustle are surprising in-deed. Gradually the large piles of vegetables melt away. If it be summer-time flowers as well as fruits are sold at the early markets. Then there are hundreds of women and girls among the crowd, purchasing bunches of roses, violets, and other flowers, and then sitting down on the steps of the church, or of the houses round the market, dividing the large bunches into smaller ones, or making those pretty button-hole bouquets in which our London flower-girls can now fairly hold their own in point of taste with those of France or Italy. Even in winter flower-girls find materials for their little bouquets; for, thanks to steam, violets are brought from the Scilly and Channel Isles, and even from the South of France, and there is always a certain supply of hothouse flowers; so that there are many flower-girls who ply their trade at all seasons of the year. After 8 o'clock the market becomes quiet. The great waggons have moved off; the debris of cabbage-leaves and other vegetable matter has been swept up, and Covent-garden assumes its everyday aspect. And a very pretty aspect it is. The avenue as at all times of the year a sight, the shops competing with each other in a display of flowers and fruit such as can scarcely, if at all, be rivalled in any capital of Europe. In winter the aspect of the fruit shops changes some-what, but not so much as might have been expected, for steam and heat have made it possible for the rich to eat many fruits, which formerly were in season but a month or two, all the year round. On each side of the main avenue are enclosed squares, and here the wholesale fruit market is carried on. In winter there are thousands of boxes of oranges, hundreds of sacks of nuts, boxes of Hamburg grapes and of French winter pears, barrels of bright American apples. At ten o'clock the sale begins; auctioneers stand on boxes, and while the more ex-pensive fruits are purchased by the West-end fruiterers, the cheaper are briskly bid for by the costermonger. Listen to the prices at which the fruit sells, and you will wonder no longer at the marvellous bargains at which these itinerant vendors are able to retail their fruits, although, perhaps, you may be astonished when you remember the prices at which you have seen the contents of some of these boxes marked in fruiterers' shops. Outside the market there is almost always something to see. In winter a score of men are opening orange boxes and sorting their contents; in autumn dozens of women and girls are extracting walnuts from juicy green outside cases; in spring-time the side facing the church is occupied by dealers in spring and bedding flowers, and the pavement is aglow with colour of flower and leaf, and in the early summer hundreds of women and girls are busily occupied in shelling peas. Country visitors will go away from Covent Garden with the conviction that to see flowers and fruits in perfection it is necessary to come to London. NEAREST Railway Stations, Charing-cross, S.E. & Dist.); Omnibus Routes Strand, St. Martin's-lane, and Holborn. Cab Ranks, Bedford-street and Catherine-street.
Covent Garden Theatre, Bow-street, Covent-garden.-one of the largest theatres in Europe, ranking next after San Carlo at Naples, the Scala at Milan, and the Pergola at Florence. The stage also, is on a very large scale, and fitted np with every convenience. It is intended primarily for Italian opera, but is now commonly used in the autumn for promenade concerts, and in the winter for pantomime, in which the spectacular element largely predominates. There are only two full tiers of boxes above the pit, which in some degree lessens the general effect, but which enables the boxes them-selves to be constructed with much more headroom. When open for any other performance than Italian opera the greater portion of these two box tiers is converted into a lower and upper dress-circle, whilst the pit tier of boxes is thrown into the pit or promenade. During the Italian season full evening dress is de rigeur in every part of the theatre except the gallery and this rule is most stringently enforced. The main front is in Bow-street, where there is a covered entrance for carriages, and the façade of which is decorated with Flaxman's statues of Tragedy and Comedy rescued from the fire which destroyed the late building. Over -the carriage-way is a large and handsome saloon, or foyer. NEAREST Railway Stations, Charing-cross (S.E. & Dist.) and Temple; Omnibus Routes, Strand, St. Martin's-lane, and Holborn.
Crystal Palace, Sydenham -About seven miles from London. Erected at a cost of nearly £1,500,000. The Palace and Grounds, which cover about 200 acres, were opened in 1854. Concerts, dramatic entertainments, flower-shows, shows of different kinds of live-stock, &c, are held annually, the charge for admission being usually one shilling, or by guinea season ticket. Fireworks during the summer season. The Aquarium is well stocked with choice specimens of fish. The Grounds are tastefully laid out with flowers, cascades and fountains. Reached by rail from Lon-don-bridge, Victoria, and Kensington (L.B. & S.C.R.), also from Moorgate-street Holborn, Ludgate-hill, and Victoria (L.C. & D.R.). Fares from Victoria, 1st, 1/3, 2/-. Kings-cross to High Level, 1st, 1/6, 2/-; 2nd, 1/-, 1/6; 3rd, -/9, 1/- Kensington 1st, 1/9, 2/6, 2nd, 1/4, 2/-; 3rd, -/10, 1/6. Return tickets, including admission, on 1/- days, 3/-, 2/3, 1/9.
Drury Lane Theatre, Catherine-street, Strand - The oldest, as it is also the largest and handsomest, of the theatres proper of London. It is the only house about which any historical flavour now lingers, and its stage has been trodden by Elliston, Dowton, Bannister, Wallack, Mrs. Glover, the Kembles, the Keans, Grimaldi, Braham Young, Mrs. Nisbett, Storace, Oxberry, Irish Johnstone, Farren, Harley, Keeley, Mdme Vestris, Helen Faucit, Ellen Tree, Macready, and many others. In the green-room, the windows of which look out on Vinegar-yard, are busts of Siddons, Kemble. and Kean, and here on Twelfth Night is rather a curious ceremony, when a cake provided by bequest of Baddeley the actor, is cut up and eaten by the company. In the hall are several other busts and statues. The modern taste for flimsy pieces, and the enormous runs to which the public are accustomed at the smaller houses, renders a theatre on the scale of Drury Lane a rather hazardous speculation nowadays, People forget that a three weeks' "run" at Drury Lane is equivalent to a hundred nights at many theatres, and as at least nine people out of ten go to see a piece simply because it is a success, the big building is apt to be left out in the cold. At the same time there is no stage in London where a play depending in any degree upon broad and massive effects can be presented to anything like the advantage which maybe given it at Drury Lane. NEAREST Railway Station, Temple; Omnibus Route, Strand; Cab Rank, Opposite.
Fleet Street - Fleet-street and its neighbourhood take good care that Londoners shall find London all the world over. However the tide of active life in town may ebb and flow elsewhere, Fleet-street is always busy, and its London is always full. The centre of the great newspaper enterprise of England can be marked on a London map very near the middle of Fleet-street and within a radius of little more than half a mile from that point some of the greatest newspapers in the world work and think for millions of readers. It is curious to contrast the way in which newspaper work is done now, with that admirable description of the newspaper office of his time that George Warrington gives Pendennis in one of the most graphic chapters of that wonderful London book. There is no dashing up now of late expresses; there is none of the pomp and circumstance of the old press days. Electricity and railways have taken the romance out of that, as out of most things. But although it is not so much on the surface as of yore, good honest hard work is done in and about Fleet-street, and goes forth to the whole English-speaking race. That this is nothing new, every student well knows. Fleet-street may almost be called the nursing mother of English literature. Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, Raleigh, Dryden, Dr. Johnson, Goldsmith, and countless names, brilliant even in brilliant times, are associated with Fleet-street. A tavern-street, as well as a literary centre, Fleet--street was and is. The newest-fashion newspaper and the oldest-style tavern still jostle each other now as they did a century or more ago. It would be rude, perhaps, to compare the 'Fleet-streeter" of today with the" Grub-streeter" of the olden time; but as in Grub-street there was no literary work that could not be got for money, so it would be difficult to find any kind of literary work that could not be done in and about Fleet-Street.
Green Park lies on the south side of the western half of Piccadilly, and is nearly triangular in shape; its south-west side being bounded by Constitution-hill, between which and Grosvenor-place lie the private gardens of Buckingham Palace. The north-west corner is just opposite the south-east corner of Hyde-park. On the arch at the entrance to Constitution-hill stands the equestrian Statue of the great Duke of Wellington, in long cloak and cocked hat, probably the most stupendous jest ever perpetrated in the way of a public monument. Only privileged horsemen and carriages can pass down Constitution-hill. NEAREST Railway Station Victoria; Omnibus Route, Piccadilly and Grosvenor-place.
Guildhall dates originally from the time of Henry IV., which, however, is not responsible for the mean and miserable jumble of a front stuck on to it by Dance in 1789. The old walls, on the other hand, are of so splendid a solidity that they stood triumphant through the Great Fire of 1666, towering amid the flames "in a bright shining coat, as if it had been a palace of gold or a great building of burnished brass." The old crypt, too, of the same date (1411), is a beautiful piece of work, 75 ft. long by 45 ft. wide, and divided into three aisles by six clusters of circular columns in Purbeck marble, supporting a fine groined roof, partly in stone, partly in chalk and bricks; the principal inter-sections being covered with carved bosses of heads, shields, and flowers. The vaulting, with four-centred arches, is considered to be one of the earliest as well as one of the finest examples of its kind in England. At the eastern end is a fine arched entrance of Early English, and in the south-eastern angle an octagonal recess about 13ft. in height. The length of the great hall is 150 ft., its height 55 ft., and its breadth 50 ft. The side walls, which are 5 ft. in thickness, are divided by clustered columns and mouldings into eight spaces, and at each end of the hall is a splendid Gothic window, occupying the whole width, and nearly perfect in all architectural details. Only the upper portions, however, are filled with stained glass, and that chiefly of modern date. In corners, on lofty octagonal pedestals, are the two famous giants. - (See GOG AND MAGOG.) The great State Banquets are held here; the hall being capable of containing between 6,000 and 7,000 persons. It was here that Whittington, entertaining in his capacity of Lord Mayor Henry V. and his queen, paid the king after dinner the delicate compliment of burning, on a fire of sandal-wood, his majesty's bonds for £60,000; and it was here also that a successor of equal loyalty, but perhaps hardly equal felicity in its demonstration, seized Charles II. by the arm, as that merry monarch was endeavouring to beat at least a partially sober retreat, and peremptorily insisted upon his brother potentate remaining for "t'other bottle." Even in these moderate times the Lord Mayor's feast is a Gargantuan institution, involving the services of twenty cooks, the slaughter of forty turtles, and the consumption of somewhere about fourteen tons of coal. Around the Guildhall are a cluster of courts, duplicating those at Westminster, and there are also numerous other apartments, such as the Common Council Chamber, the Court of Aldermen, the Chamberlain's Office, the Chamberlains Parlour, the Library (one of the finest in the kingdom), &c., with a court called the Lord Mayor's Court, nominally for the recovery of small debts incurred in the City. NEAR-EST Railway Stations, Mansion House (Dist.) and Moorgate--street; Omnibus Routes, Moorgate-street and Cheapside; Cab Rank, Lothbury.
Holborn is a continuation of Oxford-street, the link between east and west. It is a great thoroughfare, but its shops are not of such a class as would be expected from that circumstance. Holborn, in fact, suffers from being neither one thing nor the other. It is too far east for the fashionable world to come to it for their purchases; it is too far west for the business men of the City; consequently it contains few first-class shops or warehouses. Until within the last few years the row of houses which narrowed the street at the Bar formed one of the most curious bits of old Lon-don remaining; and the removal of the row, although immensely improving the general aspect of Holborn, has greatly altered its character. The line of houses, however, still remaining at this point on the south side of the street, opposite Furnival's-inn, are still well worth seeing, as being by far the most perfect specimens of old street architecture, with its wooden beams and projecting upper storeys, remaining in Lon-don. The two chief streets, or rather lanes, which run into Holborn are Chancery-lane, leading down past Lincoln's-inn to Fleet-street, and Gray's-inn-lane, leading to King's-cross. Gray's-inn, of which only the entrance is visible in Holborn, half-way down on the north side, will be found described elsewhere. Holborn terminates at the circus of the same name, a handsome architectural feature, with an equestrian statue of the Prince Consort in the centre, while beyond, the Holborn-viaduct and the Fleet-valley to St. Sepulchre's Church and Newgate. With the exception, perhaps, of Queen Victoria-street, this is the finest piece of street architecture in the City of London, and its effect is greatly increased by the fact that it is built in a curve. There is a uniformity in the general architectural design of the houses upon either side, which, although carried to a wearisome extent in many Continental towns, is very rare in London; indeed, of the great thoroughfares, Regent-street and Holborn-viaduct are the sole examples. On the right hand side, going east of the Viaduct, is the chapel of Dr. Parker, known as the City Temple. The nearest way from Holborn to Blackfriars bridge, or the Ludgate-circus at the junction of Fleet-street an Ludgate-hill, is through Shoe-lane and Bride-street; Shoe-lane runs off diagonally from Holborn-circus. From the same point Charterhouse Street leads down to the Farringdon Station of the Metropolitan Railway.
Houses of Parliament- An immense Tudor Gothic building, covering nearly eight acres of ground, and constructed on the designs of the late Sir Charles Barry at a cost, up to the present date, of about £3,000,000. The best view at present is from the river- the end near Westminster-bridge being much injured in effect by the abandonment of the northern façade which formed part of the original design, and that towards the Abbey being as yet marred by the ugly and incongruous mass of the Law Courts. The ordinary public entrance is through Westminster Hall, on the right side of which are the entrances into the principal courts, while on the left is the private entrance of the members of the House of Commons. At the south end of the hall is a flight of steps leading through St. Stephen's Porch and Hall to the central hall, on the left or north side of which lies the portion of the building allotted to the Commons, and on the right or south side that belonging to the Queen and the Peers. A corridor leads in either direction to the "lobbies" of the respective Houses, where such of the public as have the entrée can communicate with the members and immediately out of which the House itself opens; the Speaker's chair occupying the end opposite the door in the House of Commons, and the Throne a similar position in the House of Lords, the Woolsack being at some little distance in front of it. The various libraries, refreshment-rooms, &c appertaining to each are grouped around their respective Houses; the libraries occupying the river front, and the Conference Room being placed between them. Beyond the Commons Division are the Speaker's house and the offices, &c., of the Commons; and beyond that of the Peers the royal apartment, the Queen's entrance being through the Victoria Tower. The Committee Rooms are, for the most part, upstairs. The internal arrangement of the Houses proper is entirely different from that which obtains in France and elsewhere. There is no permanent "Right" or "Left," nor any political distinction between the two portions; the right hand side of the House being always occupied by the party in power and the left by the Opposition, whatever may be their respective principles. Along the right and left sides of the House of Commons run the Division Lobbies-quite distinct from "the" lobby at the farther end-into one or other of which the members walk when a division is called, according as they desire to vote Aye or No, being counted by the "tellers" of the respective sides as they return into the House. Ad-mission to the strangers' gallery of the House of Lords to hear debates is by a peer's order. An order from a member, or (preferably) from the Speaker, admits to the strangers' galleries of the House of Commons. These galleries are not very convenient, and hold but a small number of persons. It is therefore only the fortunate few who can obtain good places on great occasions, and then only after many weary hours of waiting. When Parliament is not sitting, admission to the Houses may be readily obtained. NEAREST Railway Station, Westminster-bridge; Omnibus Routes, Parliament-street, Victoria-street and Westminster-bridge; Cab-Rank, Opposite.
Hyde Park- "the park" par excellence - forms the western boundary of Mayfair, and is the great fashionable promenade and public lounge of London. It stands high, and forms with Kensington gardens-which are simply a continuation of it, under somewhat different rules in respect of hours of closing, &c. - a vast open spa nearly a mile and a half in length by three-quarters of a mile width. The park proper, which is crossed in every direction by carefully kept footpaths, is rounded by a carriage-drive of about two and a half miles, and has eight gates, viz, two at the N.W. and NE. corners, Victoria and Cumberland (Marble Arch); two on the east side, Grosvenor and Stanhope, opposite the respective streets; two at the S. E. and S.W. corners, Knightsbridge (Hyde-park-corner) and Queen's-gate ; and two on the south-side, Albert-gate and Prince's-gate. A large piece of ornamental water called by the authorities the Serpentine where it traverses the park, and the Long Water so far as concerns the portion in Kensington gardens, runs in a sort of irregular quadrant from N by way of S.W to E., and is commonly known as the Serpentine throughout. It is a favourite place for skating, and about the most dangerous in Lon-don. Indeed, skating has recently been prohibited on that portion of the water which is in Hyde Park, and is really the Serpentine. The Humane Society's establishment stands at about the middle of the north shore; and a portion of the south bank, exactly opposite, and between the water and Rotten-row, is set apart before 8 a.m. and after 7.30 pm. for bathing. Boats are to be had on hire on the north shore. Rotten-row is a piece of road set apart for equestrians, and extending originally from Hyde-park-corner to Queen's-gate. A supplementary ride has now been laid out on the other side of the Serpentine, and runs from, the Magazine by Victoria-gate to Cumberland-gate. From Hyde-park-corner to Queen's-gate runs also a carriage-drive, the site of the original Great Exhibition of 1851 lying between. Near the west end of this drive stands on its north side the Albert Memorial. For two or three hours every after-noon in the season, except Sunday, the particular section of the drive which happens that year to he "the fashion" is densely thronged with carriages moving round and round at little more than a walking pace, and every now and then coming to a dead-lock. The portion of the road specially affected varies from time to time, but is usually either that along the north side of the Serpentine or that between Hyde-park-corner and Queen's-gate. For the last few seasons it has drifted back to the latter, but in no case does the orthodox Londoner think of extending her drive to any other part of the park. The road from Queen's-gate to Victoria-gate is now open to cabs, &c,; the remainder of the park to private carriages only. The park-gates open at 5 am, and close at 12 p.m. all the year round. The minor gates are closed at 10 p.m. The great omnibus routes of the Strand and Holborn skirt it on the north and south sides, and that from Victoria to Royal Oak on the east. The nearest stations are -on the south, Victoria (Dist,), about three-quarters of a mile down Grosvenor-place; and on the north, Edgware-road (Metrop.), a few yards less.
Inns of Court (The) are four in number, viz.: Inner and Middle Temple, Lincoln's-inn, and Gray's Inn. The word inn, like the French hotel, signifies a mansion. Each of these inns is governed by a committee, generally formed of Queen's Counsel, called benchers, who are a self-elected body. The inns consist of shall a chapel, a library, a suite of rooms devoted to the benchers, and a number of buildings divided into sets of chambers, occupied, for the most part, by barristers and solicitors. Each inn has the privilege of calling students to the bar and of dis-barrdisbarringster, subject to an appeal to the judge. Formerly, when a barrister was appointed serjeant or a judge, he forfeited his membership of his original inn and became a member of Serjeant's-inn. As this society has been lately abolished, each of the four inns has re-admitted such of its members as have been raised to the bench.
GRAY'S-INN stands on the north side of Holborn, and was formerly the property of the Grays of Wilton, whence the society derives its name. Ln the time of Edward III began to be an inn of court. Nowadays the society possesses South square, Gray's-inn-square, Field court, Gray's-inn-place, Raymond buildings, Verulam-buildings, and the garden. The chambers are spacious and well adapted for permanent habitation, and are cheaper than those belonging to the Temple and Lincoln's-inn. The hall, which is the smallest of the four, is nevertheless an imposing chamber, and is the oldest but one. The roof is of carved oak, divided into six compartments. The screen another magnificent specimen of carving, supported by six pillars of the Tuscan order, with caryatides supporting the cornice. Amongst the paintings which decorate the hall are portraits of Charles I., of Charles II., an James II.-both cut down to half their original size - Bishop Gardiner, Lord Coke, Nicholas Bacon, and Lord Bacon. In the windows there is magnificent stained glass, one pane is dated as early as 1552. The latest bears the escutcheon of Mr. Justice Manisty, 1876. The name and dignities of the late Lord Chelmsford are emblazoned on a window near, and so are the name and crest of Mr. Justice Lush. The library consists of three cosy rooms, in the largest of which is another portrait of Lord Bacon. The chapel, which is an ancient structure, was completely modernised in the last century; but the east window is gorgeous with the arms of several eminent divine preachers of the society. The are some eighty students attached to Gray's-inn at the present time which means that the honourable society is becoming more popular than of yore. Lord Burghley, S Philip Sidney, Lord Bacon, and Sir Samuel Romilly, were members of the inn.
LINCOLN'S-INN became an inn of court about the year 1310, after the death of Harry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, from whence the name of the society is derived. The principal entrance in Chancery-lane was built in the reign of Henry VII and over this gateway Oliver Cromwell is said to have lived for some period. In the erection of the wall, commenced in Queen Elizabeth's reign, Ben Jonson is said to have assisted as a brick-layer. The chapel is built upon a cloister of six open arches, under which are buried Thurloe, Cromwell's secretary, Brome, the songwriter, and others. These cloisters served as a promenade in wet weather for the wives and daughters of members of the inn when barristers used to reside in the chambers in Lincoln's-inn. The chapel would not be particularly remarkable but for the stained glass, on which are represented the arms of deceased worthies and fancy portraits of the saints and biblical heroes. The bell which hangs in the south-west turret was brought by the Earl of Essex from Cadiz after the capture of that town in Elizabeth's reign. The hall, commenced in 1843, and finished in 1845, is the finest London, with the exception of Westminster-hall, being 120 feet in length, 45 in breadth, and 64 high. The oak roof is a remarkable feature in its construction, divided as it is by trusses into seven compartments. The screen is also a sumptuous piece of work. The windows are chiefly composed of stained glass containing the armorial bearings of distinguished members of the society. At the northern end is a fresco painted by Watts, R.A., "The Law givers," a magnificent work, which is now unfortunately fading. The artist contributed this important addition to the decoration of the hall gratuitously; but when the fresco was finished the Inn presented him with a gold cup containing eight hundred sovereigns In the rooms used by the benchers are a fine collection of paintings and old engravings. Hogarth's 'Paul before Felix" occupies here an important position. Two hundred pounds were paid for the picture and in a frame, below the painting is an autograph letter from the artist acknowledging the money. Above the doorway is Gainsborough's portrait of Pitt in excellent preservation. The society also possesses a large work by Giorgione a portrait of Lord Chief Baron Kelly, which has lately bee painted; and a water-colour drawing of Her Majesty and the Print Consort opening the new hall on the 13th October, 1845. On that occasion Prince Albert was made a barrister and a bencher of the inn and the Queen took luncheon in the hall. The Prince wore a field marshal's uniform, and Her Majesty was attired in a dress of Limerick lace, a blue bonnet and feather and a scarlet shawl with a broad gold edging. The library which is attached to the hall is a comfortable building, in which space has been economised in many ingenious ways. There are many thousands of books on legal and other subjects. In the gardens close to the entrance of the hall is an iron railing of delicate workmanship; on it are embossed the name Brewster, and the letters I.C.R.V. twice. The work stands as a memorial to Lieut Col. Brewster, late commandant of the Inns of Court Rifle Volunteers -familiarly called the "Devil Own."
THE TEMPLE, in the reign of Henry II., became the home of the Knights Templars, who built their church in imitation of the temple near the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. In the reign of Ed ward II. the order was suppressed and the Temple subsequently became the property of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. These worthies are believed to have let the space to professors of the law for the rent of £10 per annum; at all events, in the reign of Richard II. It is clear that lawyers were firmly established in the home which they have never since quitted. In Henry VIII.'s reign the two societies became tenants of the Crown, and in the sixth year of James I. received a grant by letters patent of the mansion of the Inner Temple at the sum of £10 yearly. The same amount was exacted for the Middle Temple. The Inner Temple hall is a modern building only a few years old. It is considerably larger than the old one, and better and more spacious as regards its offices and ante-rooms. A luncheon-room for the use of members of the inn is a welcome addition. The principal portraits are William and Mary Queen Anne, Sir Thomas Littleton and Lord Chief Justice Coke. The arms and crests of the treasurer of the inn surround the hall, which is replete with all the latest contrivances in the way of ventilation and illumination. The library consists of a series of apartments leading one into another. It is perhaps the snuggest and quietest of all the four, and contains a number of books on general, besides legal subjects. Sir Christopher Hatton, Sir Edward Coke, Lord Tenterden, and Wm. Cowper, the poet, were members of the inn. Charles Lamb was born within its precincts, and Dr. Johnson lived there for some time. The gate leading into the Inner Temple from Fleet-street was built in the reign of James I.
MIDDLE TEMPLE HALL was commenced in 1562, and is one of the grandest Elizabethan structures in London. It is about 100 ft. long and is conspicuous for the massive beauty of the dark oak roof. The windows and walls are decorated with the arms of members of the inn, and the screen and the inns gallery are of dark oak elaborately carved. Over the dais is a portrait of Charles I. on horseback, by Vandyke, one of the three original paintings of the monarch painted by that master; one of the other two being at Windsor, and the other at Warwick Castle. Portrait of Charles II., James II., William III., Queen Anne, and George II are also to be seen, besides marble busts of Lord Eldon and Lord Stowell. Royal personages have frequently visited Middle Temple Hall; the Prince of Wales dined there some years ago, and the benchers took the opportunity of calling His Royal Highness to the bar and electing him a bencher within a few minutes' time. Some seventeen years ago the new library was opened, a handsome building standing near the river, at the south-west corner of the garden. It is larger than the Inner Temple library, but is perhaps not so we adapted for close study. Besides producing many eminent lawyers, Middle Temple has called to the bar many celebrated poets and dramatists, amongst them Forde, Rowe, Wm. Congreve, Shadwell, Southerne, Sheridan, and Tom Moore. Sir William Blackston who wrote the "Commentaries on The Laws of England" was educated at the Middle Temple. The most interesting object in the Temple, however, is the church which was dedicated to the Virgin by Heradius, patriarch of Jerusalem, in 1185. It has suffered from fire and rioters on several occasions -but at the present time it is one of the most beautiful specimens of early Gothic architecture in country. It has been thoroughly restored, and new marble column have been added, and the tombs of the Knights Templars been renovated and embellished. The are two services on Sunday. Admission to the morning service may be obtained by an order from a bencher of either Temple. Admission to the afternoon service practically free. A barrister has the right to introduce one friend.
Lambeth Bridge is perhaps on the whole, the ugliest ever built. It was also-when it was built, at all events-supposed to be the cheapest. It is a suspension bridge of five spans, and one great economy in its construction consists in the use of wire cables in place of the usual chains. It connects Westminster with Lambeth where it lands close by the Archbishop's Palace.
Lambeth Palace - This quaint old building, for centuries the official residence of the Arch-bishops of Canterbury, is situate nearly opposite to the Houses of Parliament. The Lollard's Tower the chapel, the great hall, the great dining-room, and the magnificent library, which contains a remarkable collection of MSS., black letter tracts, &c. are the principal attractions. The picture gallery and the guard chamber contain many curious portraits. Few of the London sights are better worth a visit than Lambeth Palace. NEAREST Railway Stations Westminster-bridge and Vauxhall; Omnibus Routes, Westminster-bridge-road, Kennington-road, Palace-road, and Harleyford-road.
Leicester Square dates from as far back as 1635, when the first house was built by Robert Sydney, Earl of Leicester. In 1671 the south side was completed. Even at this early date the square had particular attraction for foreigners. Colbert, the French ambassador resided here; and Leicester house sheltered Prince Eugene, and saw the end of the troublous life of the Queen of Bohemia. Later Leicester House became the court of George II when Prince of Wales, who in turn was succeeded in opposition by his own son Prince Frederick Perhaps the first theatrical performance known in the square was when a company of amateurs, including the future George III played Addison's tragedy of Cato. But Leicester-square has more interesting memories than these. At No, 47, on the west side, lived and worked Sir Joshua Reynolds, and on the opposite side, close to the present Alhambra, Hogarth scent some of the best years of his life. Next door to Hogarth lived John Hunter, and, hard by, Sir Isaac Newton had his observatory Later on Newton's house was occupied by Dr. Burney, better known as the father of Madame d'Arblay, the authoress of the now almost forgotten Evelina. Many celebrated shows have had their habitation in the square. Miss Linwood's gruesome exhibition of worsted work; the earliest idea of hatching chickens by steam; assaults of arms ; and even prize-fights at various times, appealed for public support in Savile House on the north side. The Gordon Rioters sacked Savile House and the complete destruction which even they were unable to effect was some years ago consummated by the fire which entirely destroyed it. In the north-east corner of the square flourished for many years one of the best exhibitions in London, Burford's panorama; and in the middle of the square the Great Globe itself was set up, until the too sensitive feelings of the inhabitants could bear it no longer. On its removal literally a wreck was left behind. The most hideous statue in Lon-don, which Mr. Wyld's enterprise had relegated to a temporary retirement made its unwelcome reappearance. The condition of the square and of the statue went gradually from bad to worse, until it became one of the crying nuisances of the town. Squalid vegetation, mangy cats, and al-most equally mangy street-boys took possession of the enclosure, which by degrees became the common dust-heap of the neighbourhood. At last a band of practical jokers, under cover of a fog, worked such pranks on the mutilated statue, that even the sense of humour of the authorities as excited, and a preliminary clearance was made. Nowadays the square, thanks to the public spirit of Mr. Albert Grant, is neat and orderly, and the benches with which the enclosure is provided are daily used by many hundreds of the surrounding colony. For as it was in its earliest days so is Leicester-square now. It is the capital of the great foreign settlements about Soho. Exiles of every political "stripe" have trod the flags of Leicester--square. It is easy for the experienced Londoner to trace the course of foreign politics by observing the habitués of the square at the time of the morning pipe.
London Bridge-built in 1824-27 from the designs of John Rennie, architect of Southwark and Waterloo Bridges, partly by himself, partly on his death by his son, Mr. J. Rennie. The cost, from various causes, was enormous and a good deal of misapprehension seems to exist upon this point; some authorities placing it at a little under a million and a half, while others give it at over two and a half millions. It is built of granite in five arches; the centre arch being 152 ft., the two next 140 ft., and the two shore arches 130 ft. each in span. In order to facilitate traffic, police-constables are stationed along the middle of the roadway, and all vehicles travelling at a walking pace only are compelled to keep close to the curb. There are still, however, frequent blocks, and the bridge should be avoided as much as possible, especially between 9 and 10 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. Seen from the river, it is the handsomest bridge in London. NEAREST Railway Stations, Cannon-street and London-bridge; Omnibus Routes,. Cannon-street, King William Street, London-bridge, and South-wark-street.
Ludgate Hill- The appearance of this, the western approach to St. Paul's, has been completely marred by the railway bridge of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, which crosses it at its lower end, and destroys the view from Farringdon-circus at its foot. Ludgate-hill is steep, and in slippery weather horses with heavy waggons have serious difficulty in getting up it, though the difficulty and danger have been much lessened by the laying down of the new wood pavement. Some houses recently built near the foot of the hill, on the south side have been thrown back some feet: and it is hoped that eventually the improvement will be carried out throughout the whole length of the street. From Ludgate-hill only can a good view be obtained of the grand western façade of St. Paul's cathedral, a view that has been greatly improved by the clearing away of the iron railings, so leaving the west front open to Ludgate-hill. Few improvements in a small way have been as valuable and effective as this.