These are currently available old map walks. Summaries to help you decide. All available as private tours. Public walks posted in batches two months at a time.
Walk with old maps exploring the byways and hidden corners around Bermondsey Street. Traces of the leather trade as well as a former smithy and clog factory. 17th century houses where you least expect to find them.The Victorian Police station and at the other end of the street it’s 1812 predecessor. The former mission hall that served the slum dwellers and across the street the glorious flats funded by philanthropy that replaced the slums in 1897. Our perambulation ends by an unlikely fragment of Bermondsey Abbey,in it’s day second only to Westminster Abbey.
Walk with old maps exploring what became of the gardens and meadows between the Blue Anchor and Bermondsey Spa. With old maps we trace where Thomas Keyse established that spa. We find the tannery built on the footprint of an earlier industry, both used water from the River Neckinger that now flows underground. Along the way we encounter London’s first terminus, the country’s first health centre, the gates of Alaska and Arthur Carr’s short-cut.
Walk with old maps exploring the winding lanes between St Paul’s and the Thames. Site of a Dominican Monastery until the Reformation.
Along a narrow medieval street we discover a house built by Christopher Wren, better known for his churches. Down an almost hidden alley we find houses built after the Great Fire and discover what was there before. Along the way we encounter Inigo Jones, William Shakespeare and the Friends of Friendless Churches
Walk with old maps exploring old Southwark south of Bankside. There are hop merchants, ancient lights and a secret garden. We trace where in Lant Street a young Charles Dickens lodged while his father was in the Marshalsea. There are many interesting buildings including some not so well known Octavia Hill cottages and the Workhouse that became a Hat Factory.
Walk with old maps exploring the City of London from it’s highest point to where the Great Fire began in 1666. We venture forth by way of hidden alleys, ancient markets and winding lanes. For this tour our maps include the Great Fire Map, known as Leake’s Exact Surveigh. Yes there are churches though they are the less well known ones. Along the way we encounter Watermen, Tea Merchants and Lost Parishes.
Walk with old maps taking a fresh look at this well worn tourist destination. We start and finish by way of almost hidden alleys. We see how the Duke of Bedford’s personal parish became a fruit and vegetable market. There is the surviving example of a carriage making workshop, a wooden framed building from 1623 with a Georgian exterior and a church that appears to be inside a theatre! Along the way we encounter Inigo Jones, J M W Turner and Lady Joan Bradbury.
Walk with old maps exploring London’s one-time bohemian district, where many well known artist and writers lived. The area was built up in the second half of the 18th century so we find many splendid Georgian houses including the last one by Robert Adam. We see the first London house where Charles Dickens lived (not Doughty Street) and a few doors along the Workhouse that inspired Oliver Twist. Along the way we encounter Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas and Samuel Morse.
Walk with old maps exploring this ancient village on the Fleet, from Anglers Lane to Spring Place. An eclectic mix of buildings survive for us to consider. The Aged Governesses’ Asylum, Primitive Methodist’s Chapel and the biggest false teeth factory in the world. Factories? From the one that made pianos to one that made Patent Collapsible Tubes for Artists’ Colourmen. Alongside the Casual Ward we find the machine where they weighed the rocks you had been breaking all day in return for a bed for the night.
Walk with old maps exploring the district re-named in the 1830’s after a short-lived statue as an early form of regeneration. As well as arguably the finest railway station in London there are Former horse-bus stables, a Victorian horse-cab factory and London’s first Gin Palace. Along the way we encounter the secret life of the Scala Cinema, the Light-house and Plum Pudding Steps. Through it all runs the now buried River Fleet. We see how a lost river has left it’s mark on the 21st century.
Walk with old maps exploring from where Marylebone began to where Octavia Hill began her work. Signs of an ancient conduit then Lord Harley’s Estate where we see Robert Adam’s first and most distinctive London house. The lost River Tyburn is never far away and leaves it’s mark on the topography. Down an almost hidden alley we discover tenements built to replace slums and the Ragged School that served the slums. Along the way we encounter Katherine Mansfield, Edwin Lutyens and J M W Turner
Walk with old maps exploring a slice of this ancient parish. There’s the street whose name recalls a lost river behind the Dog and Duck. An open air pulpit where costermongers once plied their trade and the old slipper baths now occupied by a doctor’s surgery. Then there’s the former Dairy that delivered milk to Parliament and we see what became of Lambeth Wells. An obscure plaque unlocks the mystery of another parish within this one. Along the way we encounter Edmund Walcott, Lupino Lane and Apothecary John Field.
Exploring how Thomas Cubitt transformed the Neat House Gardens. We follow the now buried River Tyburn to where it joins the Thames and trace fragments of a long forgotten industrial heritage. We see how Cubitt incorporated paths used by the gardeners and how a lane from the 1720’s survives and whose name is the one link with bygone industry. Amidst the Cubitt architecture there is Dolphin Square, whose story may surprise you in particular what was there before.
Walk with old maps exploring this riverside village where the Mayflower sailed from in 1620. Among the warehouses we find a Thames barge building workshop, an 18th century granary with a new lease of life and a charity school founded by shipwrights. There is the engine house from Marc Brunel’s Thames Tunnel and the mortuary where bodies recovered from the river were taken. The Parish Watch house survives close by the Parish church, which has one or two surprises for us to discover.
Walk with old maps exploring the neighbourhood that grew around site of a 12th century leper hospital, whose footprint is now a heart-shape of streets. There are 17th century houses where you least expect to discover them,visible reminders of the areas metal-working tradition and hidden almshouses. On Hollar’s Great Map of 1658 we see the field that was to become Seven Dials. Looking up we see a parish plaque and down what was once the main road we find a Huguenot chapel.
Walk with old maps exploring the one time furniture making district. See what your favourite bar used to be, at least one was a timber seasoning shed! We trace the site of London’s first theatre and stop by the original actor’s church. We see what became of the Old Nichol slum. Along the way we encounter the Parish Refuse Destructor, 17th century houses and Syd’s Coffee Stall
Walk with old maps exploring buildings and byways around the east end’s Church of the High Seas.There are the tenements erected by the Four Per Cent Industrial Dwellings Companany. Each flat consisted of two rooms, with a shared wash-house and kitchen. Some fine houses from an earlier age survive including one built in 1694. This is an old map walk where we are rewarded by looking carefully. Along the way we encounter a guardian of the poor, the governor’s widow and an errant grave digger.
Walk with old maps exploring site of Pleasure Gardens and surrounding neighbourhood. We discover the one surviving building from the Pleasure Gardens and learn why a Church was built with it’s own Art School. There are tangible examples of Victorian philanthropy. We see how the Ragged School survived the widening of the railway. At the end of a hidden alley we find the secret cottage built about 1710. In a rapidly changing bit of London we find plenty that brings the past to life.