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More from Thomas Williams

A Passage to the Lost Docklands of Anglo-Saxon London

A weird tunnel beneath Charing Cross station traces the edge of what was once London’s riverside embankment, a waterfront that witnessed the arrival of Viking raiding fleets.

Runestones and Tomb-raiders

St Paul’s was the heart of early London. It was the burial place of King Ethelred (‘the ill-advised’) and also of unfortunate Archbishop Ælfheah whose body was stolen from its tomb by King Cnut The graveyard was once home to the London runestone, a rare monument to a member of London’s Viking elite.

Viking Greenwich and a Martyr’s Death

The church of St Alfege was built on the site of the martyrdom of St Ælfheah: the archbishop of Canterbury who, having been kidnapped by Vikings and taken to their camp at Greenwich, was battered to death with animal bones…

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The Barbican and the Making of the Modern Office Building – Pt. 2

The Barbican Redevelopment Scheme, comprising the Barbican Estate, Barbican Arts Centre and the office buildings around London Wall and Moorgate, is well known to people with an affection for twentieth-century architecture, and has become major cultural centre in its own right. Nevertheless, very few people are aware of how a type of plastic manufactured in rural Kent quietly revolutionised the design and construction of modern office building, in particular the curtain-walling systems that enabled open-plan offices. In the second of two viewpoints on the New Barbican, Alexander Davidson tells a story encompassing two office buildings built as part of the Barbican Redevelopment Scheme – Lee House and St Alphage House – and how the plastic Holoplast was manufactured, used in construction, and eventually came to be demonised by the City of London Corporation.