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Section 2: Places and Descriptions

Links to locations on the Greenwood Map of London, 1827 are designated with  Greenwood's .
NB: These map images are about 300 KB each.


The Admiralty     Greenwood's 

Description: Apart from the unlovely but be-lichened and ivy-covered concrete blockhouse on the St James's Park side (called rather grandiosely The Citadel, built in 1940 as a bomb-proof communications centre) and the ramshackle array of radio aerials on the roof, The Old Buildings of The Admiralty look very much as they did in Jack's day. The architecture is not highly regarded by purists, but is very typical of the red-brick and pilaster facades of its time.

The New Buildings in the courtyard on the Whitehall side are late Victorian and Admiralty Arch is an addition from 1905, imposing from the outside but currently (early 2000) being converted to government offices.

Location: Between Whitehall and St James's Park, on Spring Gardens beside Admiralty Arch on The Mall

Recommendation: Well worth seeing, but you won't get inside unless you have official business - it is still the Navy's active headquarters. Look at the Main Court past the Marine sentry on the Whitehall side; admire the impressive bronze sea-horses over the gateposts.

Walk through Admiralty Arch to the Old Buildings, doffing a cap to Captain James Cook on his plinth, then on round the end of The Citadel, which is built over the "green baize door" Stephen slipped through after his secret debriefing in The Commodore. This brings you into Horse Guards, where the haughty back of The Admiralty looks over The Army's ceremonial parade ground, scene of Trooping the Colour and other summer pageantry.

Currently the Old Buildings are shrouded in scaffolding and plastic on the Horse Guards side and there is extensive restoration of the Whitehall entrance too. The Mall face of the Old Building can be seen clearly but access to Spring Gardens is closed off by builders' fencing.


Barts (St Bartholomews Hospital)     Greenwood's 

Description: one of the oldest hospitals in the world, based in a rambling set of Victorian buildings on the site of a mediaeval Hospice, with some Georgian and earlier buildings

Location: near to Smithfield Market on the edge of the City of London

Recommendation: not much to see of interest; Barts is a very busy working hospital


Bedlam (Bethl'em Hospital)

Description: hospital for the mad, totally insane and slightly eccentric

Location: on the site of the Imperial War Museum, Cromwell Road

Recommendation: nothing to see of the Bedlam Hospital above ground


Billingsgate     Greenwood's 

Description: ancient City fish market on the banks of the Thames

Location: now on the south bank near Greenwich, in a modern covered building

Recommendation: unless you're in the market for very fresh fish of any description, there's nothing of historical interest here, and it's all over by 9.00am!


"Black's" (White's or Bianchi's)     Greenwood's 

Description: fictional (?) gentleman's club, an amalgam of real clubs of the era

Location: St James's Street (or is it St James's Square?)

Recommendation: walk down St James's Street and spot the railings and "welcoming steps" with uniformed porter


Bond Street     Greenwood's 

Description: major shopping street in the heart of Mayfair

Location: parallel to Piccadilly, next to Saville Row

Recommendation: expensive, but if you like shopping and have unlimited credit.


Bow Street     Greenwood's 

Description: the street in which the original Bow Street Runners - the first organised police force - were based (the doorway of the original building is still there, at number 11)

Location: Covent Garden, just north of The Strand at Aldwych

Recommendation: a useful cut through from Covent Garden to The Strand


Drury Lane     Greenwood's 

Description: the central street in Theatreland, full of milling crowds at any time of day, and theatre goers at night

Location: behind Piccadilly, towards Oxford Street

Recommendation: watch the stage doors for famous faces, and catch the show of your choice - but beware of ticket touts, street vendors and pickpockets; a few good restaurants and pubs


Fladong's     Greenwood's 

Description: a good quality eating house, much favoured by Naval officers

Location: probably Piccadilly

Recommendation: unfortunately no longer exists


Fleet Prison     Greenwood's 

Description: ancient debtor's prison

Location: east side of Farringdon Road, between Ludgate Circus and Holborn Viaduct, where Bear Alley is now

Recommendation: nothing to see of the old prison


Fleet Street     Greenwood's 

Description: a major thoroughfare, the home for 200 years of the newspaper publishing and printing houses (most now in new buildings at Wapping)

Location: runs east to west from Ludgate Circus to The Strand (Temple Bar)

Recommendation: a good, aerobic and interesting walk from St Paul's to the Strand and on to Savoy, if too noisy, crowded and traffic-fumed; try The Cheshire Cheese pub for an authentic Georgian City inn - the food is good, wholesome English fare (lamb chops, steak and kidney pie) and the Marston's Pedigree bitter is superb; Dr Johnson's House is around the corner in Gough Square (recommended); El Vino's was the favoured watering hole for many famous journalists, lawyers and writers (and this author) - don't let the sawdust on the floor put you off - this is the original English wine bar! and it has a strict, old fashoned dress code.


The Grapes     Greenwood's 

Description: inn and boarding house where Stephen has permanent rooms

Location: in the old Liberties of the Savoy, off The Strand

Recommendation: the original inn does not now exist, but a walk around this immediate area is interesting; there is an old pub called The Grapes at Limehouse, which is worth a visit for a pint in a typical old dockland pub


Green Park     Greenwood's 

Description: small Royal Park created by Henry VIII, a frequent site of duels

Location: alongside Constitution Walk from Hyde Park Corner, running between Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly

Recommendation: very busy in summer, somewhat noisy and dusty, and there are better parks for picnics, but a pleasant interlude from Piccadilly to The Mall and St James's Park


Greenwich     Greenwood's 

Description: an interesting riverside suburban village with a magnificent set of river-side buildings by Sir Christopher Wren, Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor and Gibbons set in open parkland, including the Royal Naval Hospital (later RN College, now University of Greenwich), Queen's House and the Old Royal Observatory; The National Maritime Museum has now been refurbished; the byeways of the village are pleasant; site also of Cutty Sark, a tea clipper with a superb collection of ship's figureheads below decks

Location: south bank of the Thames, east of the City

Recommendation: well worth a visit - give it at least half a day (see section 4)


Grosvenor Square     Greenwood's 

Description: large Georgian square in Belgravia, now rather overbuilt by C20th buildings, (including the US Embassy, the big concrete and glass block with a huge eagle on top), but still attractive in the spring and summer

Location: in Mayfair, just to the north of Shepherd Market

Recommendation: a must for US visitors!



Description: one of London's finest villages, cosmopolitan with quite a rural air still

Location: north of central London, at the top of Haverstock Hill     Greenwood's 

Recommendation: a good place to stroll, lunch and covet pretty town cottages or antiques


Hampstead Heath

Description: large, hilly heathland next to Hampstead village; superb views of London

Location: north of central London, overlooking the City

Recommendation: a very pleasant walk, especially in fine weather


Haymarket     Greenwood's 

Description: the conduit between Theatreland and Clubland

Location: between Piccadilly Circus and Pall Mall

Recommendation: the place to catch a show


Hoare's Bank     Greenwood's 

Description: one of the four main banking houses in Georgian times

Location: 37 Fleet Street, mentioned in "The Commodore"

Recommendation: the building now at No 37 was built in the early 1820s as Hoare's Bank


Horse Guards (Parade)     Greenwood's 

Description: military palace, duty barracks for Household Cavalry Regiments

Location: Whitehall next to The Admiralty; the Parade is on the St James's Park side

Recommendation: a must for Lissuns - pretend you're Stephen walking with Sir Joseph past the mounted cavalryman on sentry duty, through the arch from Whitehall to the Parade and the Park; in June you may catch an evening rehearsal of the ancient ceremony of Beating Retreat, massed Guards or Cavalry with stirring martial bands, attended by a Royal or two - on a warm summer's evening this is Britain at its best; dress informally but smartly (blazer and slacks, tie not essential; summer dress and jacket) and then walk across the Park to dine in Victoria Street or behind Buckingham Palace


The Houses of Parliament     Greenwood's 

Description: the Palace of Westminster, seat of UK Government, comprising the House of Commons and the House of Lords, both of which can be visited; the current building was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and Augustus Pugin and built in 1838 after fire destroyed the mediaeval Palace Jack and Stephen would have known; the only remaining part of the ancient building is St Stephen's Hall

Location: on the Thames at the southern end of Whitehall, facing Westminster Abbey

Recommendation: worth a visit; long queues for entrance to the Chambers when Parliament is sitting; in the clock tower at the eastern end (Big Ben is the hour bell, not the clock) a lamp is lit when Parliament is in session; the river terrace is for the use of Members of each House and their guests


Hyde Park     Greenwood's 

Description: very large Royal Park, one of the "lungs of London"

Location: between Kensington Palace Gardens to the west and Park Lane to the east, with Speakers' Corner facing Marble Arch at its north-east corner and Apsley House ("Number One London", Wellington's townhouse) at Hyde Park Corner to the south-east; Knightsbridge, the Albert Hall and Kensington are on its southern edge

Recommendation: in good weather picnic anywhere in its immense open grounds or if inclement, shop in nearby Knightsbridge (avoid Harrods - Selfridges and Harvey Nick's are classier)


The Inns of Court     Greenwood's 

Description: tree-lined squares with barristers' sets (chambers)

Location: south of Strand and Fleet Street

Recommendation: an attractive and atmospheric walk - but do not play ball games or shout!


Leadenhall Market     Greenwood's 

Description: one of the ancient food markets of the City

Location: in the City behind St Paul's, close to the Stock Exchange and Lloyds'

Recommendation: excellent place to buy food and to lunch in one of the many good wine bars


Mansion House     Greenwood's 

Description: the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London

Location: City of London, at the end of Cannon Street behind St Paul's

Recommendation: not much to see from the outside, but a good landmark on a City walk


Mayfair     Greenwood's 

Description: favoured location of many fine town houses built during the Restoration and Georgian eras for the London homes of grand peers and landed gentry

Location: north of St James's, over Piccadilly from Green Park

Recommendation: part of the Maturin walks; pleasant city stroll


Monument     Greenwood's 

Description: tall pillar with a viewing platform, commemorating the Great Fire of London

Location: Fish Hill Street near Pudding Lane (where the Great Fire started)

Recommendation: a good meeting place and a fair view of the City but it's a long climb!


Newgate Prison     Greenwood's 

Description: large and deeply unpleasant prison for offenders of all kinds; executions were held outside until the mid-C19th

Location: does not now exist, was on the site of the current Central Criminal Court in Old Bailey; the Magpie and Stump pub facing the site used to serve "hanging breakfasts" to spectators on execution days and is still good for a pie and a pint

Recommendation: nothing to see of the old prison, but stroll past the Court (always known as Old Bailey) and admire Blind Justice (the statue is not blindfolded) on the Dome; the author experienced the Old Bailey terrorist bomb in 1975, when working in an advertising agency in Fleet Lane opposite the main door of the Court


The Nore

Description: shallow-water anchorage in the Thames Estuary

Location: eastern end of the Thames where it meets the North Sea

Recommendation: it's a long way down river and nothing to see!


Pall Mall     Greenwood's 

Description: boulevard with St James's Palace and other grand buildings, many housing clubs such as The Athenaeum, The RAC Club and The Institute of Directors

Location: parallel to Piccadilly and The Mall, running from Trafalgar Square to St James's

Recommendation: a good shortcut between visiting Nelson and the National Gallery at one end, and the shops of Mayfair; from The Admiralty, walk up the steps from The Mall through Waterloo Place, turn left to St James's; traffic is one-way and fast (look right)


Piccadilly     Greenwood's 

Description: broad, long thoroughfare, with hotels, shops, cafes and fine apartments

Location: between Hyde Park and Theatreland

Recommendation: long, straight, noisy and dusty; the streets, arcades and alleys off it are more interesting and quieter, so meander

The Prospect of Whitby

Description: very old and famous riverside pub, well known to tourists

Location: Shadwell, on the north bank of the Thames east of St Paul's

Recommendation: best seen from a river taxi as it can get very busy in the summer; Stephen sails beneath its bow window in The Ringle in The Commodore


Regents Park     Greenwood's 

Description: large park built during the Regency (early C19th) lined by many elegant buildings by Nash and others

Location: eastern end of Marylebone Road at the north end of Portland Place

Recommendation: pleasant stroll and the Zoo is still worth a visit


The Royal Society     Greenwood's 

Description: "a Club for the promotion of Physico-Mathematical Learning" renamed the Royal Society in 1660 under Royal Charter from Charles II

Location: originally in Gresham House, Bishopsgate until the Great Fire, then Arundel House, The Strand; in Stephen's time it also met at Somerset House

Recommendation: nothing to see unless you are a Fellow!


St James's Palace     Greenwood's 

Description: mediaeval Royal Palace, for centuries the main seat of government when monarchs held political power

Location: western end of Pall Mall

Recommendation: no entry to interior (now the Prince of Wales' London offices and grace-and-favour apartments for Royal Household staff), but worth a look and a photograph while walking the Stephen / Blaine St James's route


St James's Park     Greenwood's 

Description: large Royal Park, busy in the summer; originally riverside marshes drained by order of Henry VIII; lots of trees and a fine lake, with a famous bandstand (backdrop in the Michael Caine film The Ipcress File)

Location: between Whitehall and Buckingham Palace, edging The Mall

Recommendation: a must for Lissuns at any time of year; a walk here will stir echoes of Jack and Stephen deep in converse, and places you in the very heart of Royal, naval and military Georgian England


St James's Square     Greenwood's 

Description: grand but small square with many fine Georgian and Victorian buildings

Location: between Piccadilly and Pall Mall

Recommendation: the very heart of clubland, location of "Black's" club so worth seeing; many fine tailoring establishments too, but it can get a tad unkempt in a hot summer


St Paul's Cathedral     Greenwood's 

Description: wonderful cathedral designed by Wren as the centrepiece to the City after the Great Fire of London in 1666; slightly damaged during the WWII Blitz; situated close to the Thames and its southern face can be seen from a river taxi passing the water steps

Location: top of Ludgate Hill

Recommendation: a must for all - walk up to the dome for the view from the outside gallery, classier than the London Eye!


(Liberties of The) Savoy     Greenwood's 

Description: an old area where debtors could claim sanctuary from their creditors; originally a hive of streets and alleys with crimping houses, pubs and artisans' workshops

Location: about halfway along The Strand, in the area around the current Savoy Hotel

Recommendation: nothing to see of the old Liberties, the warren of alleys having been "developed" several times since Jack's day, but some interesting bars and shops still


Shepherd Market     Greenwood's 

Description: small residential square in Mayfair

Location: north of Piccadilly, off White Horse Street

Recommendation: this is where Sir Joseph had his bachelor town house; walk around the square and the narrow streets behind it and see if you can spot the house with "three worn steps" leading up to the front door ("The Yellow Admiral")


Somerset House     Greenwood's 

Description: large and grand public building, until recently the main public records office for the United Kingdom; its gardens formed a terrace on the Thames before The Embankment was built after Jack's time; a set of five fountains will be inaugurated on the river frontage in May 2000

Location: east of Westminster Bridge on the north bank of the river

Recommendation: walk from Whitehall or The Savoy along the Embankment to stand by this historic building where Canaletto painted his Thames vistas, or see it from a river taxi


Temple     Greenwood's 

Description: site of the main Inns of Court, where top Barristers ("silks") work in "sets" (rooms) off the "stairs", the fine buildings ranged around the gardens

Location: between The Embankment and The Strand

Recommendation: pleasant to walk through in fine weather


Temple Bar     Greenwood's 

Description: traditional boundary between the Cities of London and Westminster, originally a large stone archway, redesigned by Wren in 1670 but removed to Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire; the old boundary is marked now by a Victorian bronze Griffin on a plinth

Location: at the junction of Fleet Street and The Strand, by the High Court

Recommendation: not much to see but it marks the transition from one City to the other


Temple Steps     Greenwood's 

Description: riverside landing place on the Thames

Location: now lies under the Embankment, by the southern entrance to Temple

Recommendation: nothing of the steps to see (they are under the roadway) but with a little imagination see Stephen jump off the Ringle's boat onto the ancient, slimy stone steps


The Thames     Greenwood's 

Description: the major river (there are many tributaries such as the Fleet, many now covered over) on which London is built; 210 miles long of which 80 are tidal; it has an average tidal rise and fall of 26 feet at the Pool of London

Location: rises in the Cotswold hills (south-west central England); it meanders through water meadows at Oxford, then becomes broad and slow through the Thames Valley

Recommendation: you must see the Thames, chockfull of history; preferably sail on her, in a river taxi at least; a beautiful river (much less polluted than in Jack's day), she's at her best in the early evening on a sunny day with light cloud, when the colours constantly change and riverside London becomes very dramatic, buildings lighting up and the perspective shifting


The Tower of London     Greenwood's 

Description: ancient fortress, prison and place of execution for traitors and unfortunates such as Anne Bullen; built over several centuries on Roman and Norman foundations

Location: on the north bank of the Thames by Tower Bridge

Recommendation: worth seeing the Crown Jewels and the ravens, but very busy in summer


The Treasury     Greenwood's 

Description: the original Treasury, where the wealth of the country was managed and its gold and silver once physically stored, was in Jack's time the building between Horse Guards and Dover House on Whitehall; today's Treasury Office is the right hand end of the white stone building diagonally across from Big Ben

Location: Old Treasury - Whitehall, to the left of the entrance to Horse Guards

Recommendation: a glance as you walk past, to or from visiting Nelson, may give you a frisson as you dog the footsteps of the execrable Wray sidling up the alley


Whitehall     Greenwood's 

Description: broad, busy road, with many Government buildings; includes the very fine Tudor Banqueting House, scene of the execution of Charles I; the "new" front of The Admiralty; The Cenotaph national war memorial; Downing Street (London home of the Prime Minister); the Army Headquarters and Horse Guards; Whitehall Arch and its gates (mentioned in "Post Captain") were removed before Jack's day (Homer nods!)

Location: runs from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament

Recommendation: worth walking along to visit Nelson on his column in Trafalgar Square, or the Mother of Parliaments at the other end, and of course to touch The Admiralty, scene of Jack's promotions and Stephen's briefings by Sir Joseph, but it is long and noisy.