London’s Riverside – A Guided Architectural Treasure Hunt
One of three walks on London's boundaries by Anthony Davis.
Come on a lively guided walk beside the Thames - London's river boundary - to trace the remnants of palaces and mansions of the rich and famous and their literary associations. Our ‘Treasure Map’ is a printed scene of riverside Westminster dated 1720, and we walk near the river to find buildings and monuments left from that time, and other grand homes which have been erected since then, exploring the way Londoners have changed and developed their use of the riverside boundary over five centuries. We admire Queen Mary’s steps and the Archbishop of York’s gateway and (if we are lucky as it is often inaccessible) peer into a ‘Roman’ bathroom and William Waldorf Astor’s windows. We explore boundaries of the imagination, too - there is a poem by Jonathan Swift, a statue to a translator of the Bible who met a sticky end and another to a great pioneer of childrens' literacy as well as a very personal connection with diarist Samuel Pepys. We hear about the ‘Great Stink’ and the transformational embankment project of Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Victorians. We see where one King lost his head and another lost his art collection. The walk is led by Anthony Davis who is a graduate of Oxford and London universities and a qualified Westminster guide with a special interest in eighteenth century architecture.
We meet on the pavement next to the Ticket office and the entrance to Portcullis House, on Victoria Embankment, Westminster. To get there, take exit 4 from Westminster tube station following signs for Portcullis House and Ticket Office. When you leave the station exit you turn left, and left again at the corner with the Embankment. The ticket office is about 20 yards from the corner, with a wide pavement where we will meet.