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London Landmarks and Architecture

Updated on August 4, 2015
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I'm a seasoned traveller and enjoy sharing sightseeing & travel tips . I particularly love London, my home of choice for over 50 years

The Royal Court of Justice, Strand on a rainy day


When you visit London, look at the historic buildings and fine architecture

Let me take you on a tour of some of the interesting architecture and landmarks round London, where I live, and never want to live anywhere else.

London is steeped in history, going back for hundreds of years.

Early History of London (called Londinium by the Romans)

In about 47 AD the Roman invaders developed a settlement , sitting on the River Thames, which they called Londinium.

Londinium was destroyed by Queen Boudica in 60 AD, rebuilt and gradually developed into a bustling port. The buildings were made of wattle and daub, which proved to be highly inflammable.

The Fire of London

The Fire of London in 1666 ravaged these wooden buildings, which caught fire very easily, the fire spreading outwards from Pudding Lane where it started.

A law was passed that when the area was rebuilt, the new buildings had to be of brick and stone, to avoid such a widespread disaster happening again.

London Burning - The Fire of London (1666)




Monument, designed by Christopher Wren - now stands as a permanent memorial, where the fire started, not far from St Paul's Cathedral

Click on the link to see more about Monument - a website devoted enirely to the Monument and Christopher Wren

Wren (World of Art)
Wren (World of Art)

If you would like to read a bit more about Christopher Wren's wonderful architecture, you will find this book very useful.

This is the book description:

"Wren was gifted with a fertile imagination, and his artistic gifts were complemented by his brilliant technical ingenuity. This combination is apparent in Wren's greatest work, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, which required rebuilding after the Great Fire of 1666. The famous dome of St. Paul's is a masterpiece of engineering, but it is also considered among the most beautiful in the world; it occupies a striking place in the London skyline as a legacy to England's greatest architect."


The Royal Courts of Justice


The Royal Courts of Justice - Also known as The High Court

Built in 1875, this fine Gothic building inspires all who enter. With its corridors, nooks and crannies and odd stone staircases, it is so big that it's easy to get lost - indeed, as a lawyer, going about court business, I have myself been lost in the veritable rabbit warren of passages, on more than one occasion.

This is the court where many of the most famous lawsuits take place. It only deals with Civil Law, not Crime.

Interior of The Royal Courts of Justice


The Court is situated in the Holborn area, where there are many architectural gems, if you know where to look for them.

View of Carey Street From The Back Entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice
View of Carey Street From The Back Entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice | Source

Carey Street - at the Back of the Royal Courts of Justice - Mentioned in "Bleak House", Charles Dickens' tale about a Court case in Chancery that took generatio

This is the view from the back door of The Royal Courts of Justice and it still looks the same as it did in Charles Dickens' time, 150 years ago.

Of particular interest is the stone statue over the doorway opposite, and the ornate metal lamp light in the top right-hand corner of the photograph, which is framed on two sides by the doorway of the court.

Carey Street is in the Holborn Area in Central London.

Make sure you don't miss something which you would have liked to see, had you known about it

Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City with Original Walks and Unusual Places to Visit (Interlink Walking Guides)
Secret London: Exploring the Hidden City with Original Walks and Unusual Places to Visit (Interlink Walking Guides)

If you like to see what's in the back-streets, or lesser-known small museums, of which there are many, this is the book for you


Do you Like Looking at Different Styles of Buildings - And learning a bit about their history?

Here's a poll to find out what people look for when they visit London

Have you been to London before, and what did you like doing there best?

See results

Muswell Hill, North London - A popular residential area with many Edwardian buildings

The whole area was designed and developed by one builder, which gives it a very unitary feel.

There are very tight planning restrictions on the whole area to preserve the Edwardian facades.

Muswell Hill Library


Until recently, it was permissible to put in modern shopfronts, and there were some hideous anachronisms, but I've noticed that modern developments now seem to be re-instating old-style shop fronts.

Typical Edwardian Houses in Queen's Avenue, Muswell Hill


Muswell Hill Roundabout


Alexandra Palace

Where the first television broadcast took place

Originally built as a palace for Queen Victoria, Alexandra Palace burnt down in 1873, before it came into use.

Buy This Poster at

Poster: The Burning of Alexandra Palace


After it was rebuilt, Alexandra Palace was used to transmit John Logie Baird's first television broadcast

I myself worked there for the BBC in the 1960s - you can see the actual tower where my office was, on the right hand corner of the building, and more clearly in the photograph below that, showing the Alexandra Palace fire in 1980.

Alexandra Palace - View from Crouch End


Alexandra Palace Fire - 1980


In the image above, which I took myself, you can see the Palace on fire for a second time, in 1980 when virtually the whole palace burnt down after an electrical fault.

It has been partially restored, and is now used for concerts and exhibitions and as a public hall. The Palace also houses the largest organ in the world, and, in that very hall, I took some of my solicitor's qualifying exams. The building was a bit run down at that time, with holes in the roof, and there were actually sparrows flying around our heads whilst we were trying to concentrate on law!

You've Seen some English Sights, Now See How Many of These English Proverbs, Sayings and Tongue-Twisters You Remember


London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets - Peter Ackroyd. What lies under the streets of London? Underground passageways, the tube, the waterways, u

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets
London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

Peter Ackroyd is a first class writer - I have read several of his books, and he is a master of description and suspense - one of the finest British authors within his sphere of the history and architecture of London

Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge | Source

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    • Max Globe profile image

      Max Globe 4 years ago

      Muswell Hill is magnificent, wish I could live there:) Thanks for the cool lens, very informative!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Charito1962: London is steeped in history, and there are also lots of modern things to see - you'll love it.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Gypzeerose: Great idea - contact me if you do

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I have decided that I want to go to London this year - good idea, huh?

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I definitely want to visit London, if I do tour Europe someday! It's been a long-time dream of mine.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BLouw: Yes, London is so big that it's easy to stay over in your own area and not explore other parts. I keep promising myself to travel by bus to other areas just for the hell of it, but, even though I have a free bus pass, I never get round to it.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Brite-Ideas: Time to renew the experience!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 4 years ago from France

      This takes me back a bit! I lived in London for years and have either not seen these sights or have not fully explored them. Guess I was a West Londoner. It just goes to show that "He who is tired of London is tired of life" or words to that effect. Who said that???

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Was in London in 1978 (a long time ago) - had a wonderful time! Loved it

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Adventuretravels: That's great - thank you so much

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      Hello fellow Londoner! I am the United Kingdom Travel contributor on Squidoo. Your lens really shows what a great place London is to both visit and to live. I live in Crouch End. Near Ally Pally. I've enjoyed reading about my hometown. I have put this on all my social networks.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @goldenrulecomics: : Thank you for your message which will be dealt with as soon as possible.

      This is an automated reply.

    • arcarmi profile image

      arcarmi 5 years ago

      Nice lens! Thank you so much for yet another blessing!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      I used to love wandering the streets of London when we lived in England. It's such a great city!

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      I had to jump over....I see so many familiar places from pictures my 15 yr old took on her recent trip to London. She went to the top of the Monument, even with her arthritis! I'm so proud of her. I need to update our Learning About England lens yet with pictures that she took while there.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 5 years ago from USA

      I can see why you chose the photo of Waterloo Bridge, with the Eye and other landmarks. London is an awesome place! Thanks for this showcase!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I really like the architecture of the buildings, you have showcased some amazing images that makes me feel like I have been on a London tour.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I would love to go to London and from I see the building and old houses are beautiful.