City of Contrasts

Back in the City today and as I had my camera handy, I took these pictures.
There is always a huge amount of building going on in the Square Mile, as property owners compete for the best offices to let at huge rents.
The current trend is for very tall buildings with names such as the Pinnacle and the Heron, while just south of the City is the Shard. Sounds like a bit of willy waggling to me: mine’s bigger than yours type of thing.

I have a soft spot for the Lloyd’s building. It’s the most photogenic building I know. Just point a camera at it and the results are at the very least good.

The Lloyds Building

It’s positively geriatric compared to its new neighbour, the Prawn, shown here on the left.

When the IRA bomb destroyed the old Baltic Exchange, we were promised it would be built exactly as it had been. Instead we got the Gherkin

The Gherkin

It has quickly become an iconic building on London’s skyline, though it does rather dwarf the nearby church of St Andrew Undershaft which has stood there since Tudor times.

St Andrew Undershaft

It’s not really a bikers’ church, though it does rather look like it.

Some parts of the City have a completely different feel. The arches that lead to Fenchurch Street railway station mean dry parking for push bikes.

Savage Gardens

This nearby building has, to me, a feeling of calm, despite being in the shadow of a new plush hotel.

Savage Gardens

The best thing about French Ordinary Court, where there was a cafe selling fixed price ordinary meals to French protestant refugees, including my ancestors maybe, is its name.

French Ordinary Court

Those of you who remember Glenn Close as Cruella De Ville in the later film version of 101 Dalmations may recognise these wonderful sculptures from outside Minster Court, which appeared as her HQ in the film.

Minster Court

In this instance, minster does not have a church connection, though the building makes me think of a cathedral designed by someone on mescaline. The name comes from combining the two adjoining street names; Mincing Lane and Dunster Court.

18 thoughts on “City of Contrasts

  1. Love the photos – I agree with you about Lloyds being very photogenic….it looks like heavy metal or stainless steel or something. Particularly striking in black/white. Interesting information too about some of the other buildings new and old around London and their names/histories.


  2. For quite a lot of 2007 I was working regularly out of an office in Vine Street. I used to walk there from Bank and have a crick in my neck from looking up and around.

    I think the Land of Green Ginger (in Hull) trumps French Ordinary Court as names go 😛

  3. Isobel something gobbled up my post last night and I was tuckered out so I am back this morning-still tuckered out 🙂 I wanted to say that you had some well shot pictures of some very interesting buildings. I need to google because they are all not known to me. Well Lloyds and you have mentioned the lovely Gherkin a few times. I do love the horses of course, CH says he doesn’t remember them-maybe there was a litte too much stout involved at the time 🙂

    • !!!! Does CH read your comments?
      The horses have been there a good long time, but they are in a side street, so he may not have seen them, with or without the stout intake!
      I was thinking of you when I took the horses.
      Wheta you’d enjoy, I’m sure, is the Trooping of the Colour, when so many beautiful and glossy horses make their way down the Mall to Horseguards’ Parade. I think you’d be in Seventh Heaven. 🙂
      This might give you a taste.

      • Isobel thank you so much for putting this up. I saw it this morning but didn’t have time to watch it, we had to get out of here and we were gone all day. I don’t think I have ever seen that many black horses at one time. Gorgeous! Blacks, Whites, Bays and Grays! And an occasional pigeon strutted to the Horseguards’ Parade. Pretty impressive. I love me a bay horse but there were several blacks with white stockings that were stunning. You would be correct about me being in Seventh Heaven.

    • Thank-you! And double congrats to you. Isn’t a reader award a great idea. I know some people comment and ‘like’ but don’t post much on their own pages, or even have their own pages, and should we be without their support.
      I am a bit behind with awards, but I shall try to make amends in the new year. One resolution sorted already!
      I still sometimes get a bit lost and end up in sci-fi when I’m looking for a photo, but I’m getting there! 🙂

  4. Nice little trip around the city – I’ve worked in all the office blocks you mentioned putting in communications bits and pieces before their occupants moved in. I often wander around the area with my camera, mainly capturing street scenes.

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