Sick City Project

'Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be'

Anatomy of the City 14 – The Royal Naval Hospital and the Dreadnought Hospital

Christopher Wren’s Royal Naval Hospital is the centrepiece of maritime Greenwich, but – like many of London’s grand historic buildings – it finds its roots in royal one-upmanship. When Charles … Continue reading

July 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Anatomy of the City 13 – Anarchists & spies in Greenwich

‘A screaming comes across the sky’ – the first line of Thomas Pynchon’s celebrated novel Gravity’s Rainbow. Pynchon’s story begins at the foot of Observatory Hill in Greenwich at the … Continue reading

July 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Anatomy of the City 12 – Deptford Creek

These days it may not be much to look at, but this stretch of riverside is one of the most important places in English history. The ancient village of Deptford … Continue reading

July 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

Anatomy of the City 11 – The London Lock Hospital

In the mid-nineteenth century  the corner of Dean Street and Bateman Street in Soho was home to the largest venereal disease hospital in the city – the London Lock Hospital. … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · 1 Comment

Anatomy of the City 10 – Casanova in Soho

Despite appearances, sex in Soho has not always been a matter of mere commerce, and its streets have played host to some of the most notorious lovers in history. In … Continue reading

April 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

Anatomy of the City 9 – Samuel Pepys’ stone feast

Samuel Pepys – diarist, civil servant, and Restoration man-about-town – was born in 1632 in a house on Salisbury Court, near St Bride’s Church. But it was also there that … Continue reading

March 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

Anatomy of the City 8 – Turnmills Street and toshers

The Fleet has always been a working river. From Roman times until the early eighteenth century it served as one of London’s major trade routes. Fairly large vessels could venture … Continue reading

March 1, 2013 · 2 Comments

Anatomy of the City 7 – Rackstrow’s Anatomical Museum

In an age of Enlightenment, learning about the human body was one means of acquiring polish, just as young English milordi were sent off on the Grand Tour to learn … Continue reading

February 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

Anatomy of the City 6 – The healing spas of the Fleet valley

London has many lost rivers – the Wandle, the Effra, the Tyburn – but the greatest of all is the mighty Fleet. From its origins as a tributary of the … Continue reading

January 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

Anatomy of the City 5 – ‘Gin Lane’

‘Gin Lane’ was never a real London street. But in the eighteenth century the streets around the church of St Giles in the Fields, a short walk south of Tottenham … Continue reading

January 18, 2013 · Leave a comment