Posts Tagged ‘Blackfriars Bridge’

Further to the recent post mulling over the design for the new members’ card, I popped into the Guildhall Art Gallery last Wednesday, knowing they have lots of wonderful London images (many thousands, in fact, most of which archived). One which I didn’t pick up on earlier is this wonderful painting.

blackfriars bridge st paul's william marlow 1788

Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul's by William Marlow (1788), Guildhall Art Gallery.

A quick straw poll among a group of members and followers made this the unanimous favourite. I had decided to avoid St Paul’s and the Palace of Westminster as being a bit touristy, but I think we’ll just have to break this self-imposed rule, partially because of the quality of the painting, but also because it includes a lovely depiction of old Blackfriars Bridge. The third to be built in Central London after London Bridge and Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars was opened in 1769, hence it was very new when this painting was made in 1788. Designed by Scotsman Robert Mylne when still in his 20s and made using Portland stone, it was a very handsome structure. However, it had a history of frequent repair work and eventually got replaced exactly a hundred years later by the current bridge, opened by Queen Victoria herself in 1869. Designed by Thomas Cubitt and built out of wrought iron, I think  this too is very fine-looking bridge. Here is a picture from a similar viewpoint as the William Marlow picture.

blackfriars bridge and st paul's

Blackfriars Bridge and St Paul's by "Chris O", Wikimedia Commons

This view will once again be substantially different when the Blackfriars Station redevelopment is complete.

Getting back to the Guildhall Art Gallery again for a moment, along with Dulwich, the Wallace Collection and the Courtauld, it is one of my favourites outside of the grand collections such as the National, Tate etc. Entrance is free and I thoroughly recommend a visit. We’ll be organising a London Historians guided tour in the near future.

Update 25/9/2011
Here is the factory prototype of the new members’ card, which I signed off on Friday. Very pleased with it. Personalised versions for all new members who have joined since 1 September should be ready by the end of the week.

london historians new members' card

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Yesterday a group of London Historians and friends went for an excellent historical mosey from the Embankment past Blackfriars, over the Wobbly Bridge (known by a few as the Millennium Bridge) into Southwark and the extremely popular Anchor pub. We were led by the excellent author, Blue Badge guide and true gentleman, Brian Cookson, a friend of London Historians who has encouraged us from the outset, not least by writing some superb articles on London’s bridges.

The sun was out, the tide was high. Dozens of packed pleasure craft plied their trade up and down our great river. The Embankment bustled with happy Londoners and tourists. We met at Temple tube station and headed west through Embankment Gardens, taking in Somerset House, the York Watergate, the Savoy. Through Embankment station we doubled back along the river bank past Cleopatra’s Needle, under Waterloo Bridge. The Blackfriars station redevlopment forced us to detour “inland” a bit taking in the Unilever building, the art-deco Blackfriar pub. Over the Wobbly Bridge we went, checking out Shakespeare’s Globe until we reached the Anchor pub.

And there most of us remained for the next three hours and more, happily downing away, the smokers in particular grateful for the fine conditions. This is the part of London Historians events that I enjoy the most: socialising with like-minded historians and making new friends. Everyone has their own particular interests, specialities. I love finding out what other historians are doing, what turns them on. When starting London Historians, this is exactly what we wanted it to be all about. Long may it continue.

So do look out for further London Historians events on our web site.

london historians thames walk

london historians thames walk

York Watergate marks the former position of the water's edge prior to embankment by Bazalgette.

london historians thames walk

The Art Nouveau Blackfriar pub

london historians thames walk

london historians thames walk

Brian Cookson

london historians thames walk

Sundowners. Earned.

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