TQ3684 : One of the alcoves from the Old London Bridge

taken 2 years ago, near to Hackney, Great Britain

One of the alcoves from the Old London Bridge
One of the alcoves from the Old London Bridge
Victoria Park was created following a public petition from 30,000 people to Queen Victoria asking that "the comfort and healthful recreation of all classes of the inhabitants shall be adequately shall be adequately provided for, on a scale commensurate with that of the other Metropolitan Parks".

The desire to relieve the squalor and pollution of the East End came not just from local people, but also from inhabitants of the West End, who feared the spread of contagious diseases.

The park was financed by the sale of Lancaster house (then York House) in St James's, and required a special Act of Parliament to establish it. It was laid out in the vicinity of Bonner's Fields, where heretics had once been burnt. It was designed by Sir James Pennethorne who complained that the land was "dead flat, without variations of any kind, except excavations for sand and gravel".

The purchase of land and development of the park was so slow that by 1845, the public, exasperated by the delays, simply began using it.The Old London Bridge was opened in 1209 and the houses, built of timber, were added some years later. Between 1760 and 1763 the bridge was cleared of all its houses. Pedestrians had rather got used to the protection from the wind that the houses afforded them and the authorities, realising this, added 14 stone alcoves – seven each side – for anyone to take shelter from the elements as they crossed it. In fact, the poor and destitute often used to sleep in the alcoves by night.  

The Old London Bridge was demolished in 1831 and two of the fourteen alcoves which were on the bridge were offered to Victoria Park in 1860. They were originally due to face each other opposite St Mark's Gate but were eventually placed here at the far eastern end of the park as they needed "a bold open situation". The houses in the background are in Cadogan Terrace. There is one other alcove which can be found in the grounds of Guy's Hospital.

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TQ3684, 230 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 5 November, 2019   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 19 November, 2019
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Park and Public Gardens 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3674 8438 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:32.5057N 0:1.7764W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3673 8438
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Stone Alcove 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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