The Alphabet Of London
Although this Alphabet of London in the archive at the Bishopsgate Institute dates from more than one hundred and fifty years ago, it is remarkable how many of the landmarks illustrated are still with us. The original facade of newly-opened ‘Northern Station’ which is now newly-uncovered after recent renovations – at the terminus we know as ‘King’s Cross’ – reveals that this alphabet was produced in the eighteen fifties. The Houses of Parliament which were begun in 1840 and took thirty years to complete were still under construction then and, consequently, Big Ben is represented by an undersized artist’s impression of how it was expected to look. Naturally, I was especially intrigued by - “O’s the market for Oranges, eastward a long way. If you first ask for Houndsditch you won’t take the wrong way.” I wonder which East East market this could refer to?
Pictures courtesy Bishopsgate Institute