“A Room to let in Old Aldgate”

“I would dearly love to rent the room that is to let in this old building in Aldgate, photographed by Henry Dixon for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London. Too bad it was demolished in 1882.

Founded by a group of friends who wanted to save the Oxford Arms, threatened with demolition in 1875, the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London touched a popular chord with the pictures they published of age-old buildings that seem to incarnate the very soul of the ancient city. London never looked so old as in these atmospheric images of buildings forgotten generations ago.

How much I should delight to lock the creaky old door, leaving my rented room in Aldgate, so conveniently placed above the business premises of John Robbins, the practical optician, and take a stroll across this magical city, where the dusk gathers eternally. Let us go together now, on this cloudy November day, through the streets of old London. We shall set out from my room in Aldgate over to Smithfield and Clerkenwell, then walk down to cross the Thames, explore the inns of Southwark and discover where our footsteps lead …

- Spitalfields Life

At the corner of St Mary Axe and Bevis Marks, this overhanging gabled house was destroyed in 1882

At the George, Borough High St

At the rear of St Bartholomew’s Church

In Bermondsey St

In Charterhouse, Wash House Court

In Cloth Fair, next to Smithfield Market

King’s Head Inn Yard

In the graveyard of St Bartholomew the Great

Old buildings in Aldersgate St

Queen’s Head Inn Yard

Shaftesbury House by Inigo Jones in Aldersgate St, demolished after this photo was taken in 1882

Sir Paul Pindar’s House in Bishopsgate was moved to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1890

St Giles Cripplegate, which now stands at the centre of Barbican complex

St Mary Overy’s Dock

The cloisters at Charterhouse

This row of shambles was destroyed for the extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Aldgate to Tower Hill, 1883

White Hart Inn Yard


Images © Bishopsgate Institute
Thank you to Alex Butterworth

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