This viewpoint considers the role of the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street (now the Connaught Rooms) in the so-called ‘birth’ of association football. It was the venue for the first meeting of the Football Association on 26 October 1863.
Before The National Gallery, a gigantic Georgian stable complex stood here, tending to the needs of over 200 royal horses and housing dozens of workers. The King’s mews was at the heart of one of the biggest urban horse populations in the world and an equestrian craze that gripped an entire nation.
Aphrodisiacal chocolate houses that gave way to exclusive clubs. Taverns with blood-soaked tales. Bland buildings belying strange societies and many other hidden histories. London overflowing with flavour and entangled with the world.
Live music has been played at this location since 1942, and as the 100 Club since 1964. This viewpoint jumps into one of the venue’s most iconic periods and explores its association with punk music and fashion in the 1970s.
Originally one of the main Roman roads of Londinium this main city street was inhabited during the medieval period by many immigrants from Lombardy in northern Italy. In time it hosted many early coffee houses, the Post Office and eventually became famous as a centre for banking.
George’s viewpoints will offer glimpses into the history of charity and community over the past few hundred years. They’ll include the story of Thomas Guy, who used his enormous wealth to found a new hospital just south of the Thames in the 1720s. Guy’s Hospital is a leading medical institution and still an impressive site today, so why was his statue hidden from sight in 2020?
Thomas is a historian of the early Middle Ages and a former curator at the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals. He worked as project curator for the major international exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend (British Museum 2014) and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His books Viking Britain (2017) and Viking London (2019) are published by William Collins.
Anna’s viewpoints will be exploring the literal and metaphorical blooming of flower culture in nineteenth-century London, from the rise of the cut-flower trade in Covent Garden and the flower girls of Piccadilly Circus, to the working-class flower shows of Bloomsbury and Peckham. Flowers were abundant in late-Victorian London, one commentator remarking in 1881 that it had become ‘a city of summer flowers, a floral London, where the beauties of the garden are transplanted to balcony, window sill, and even to house top’.
Joshua is a writer, photographer and tour guide, focusing on the Art Deco and Modernist architecture of London’s suburbs. Since 2011 he has run the Modernism in Metro-Land website and has just published “A Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land”, the pocket guide to the suburbs’ hidden architecture. He is also contributor to “100 20th-Century Gardens and Landscapes”, and “The Alternative Guide to the London Boroughs”.
We’re delighted to welcome Isabella Rosner to Placecloud as a new expert. In June 2021 she’ll be publishing a series of viewpoints on places, mainly in Hackney, associated with the Quakers.