Pomp and Power: Tales from the heart of Westminster
The year was 1045. Edward the Confessor, a pious man, fled what he saw as the moral turpitude of The City of London and built himself a palace and an Abbey amidst the marshes of the Tyburn River on Thorney Island (his “Minster in the West”) and Westminster was born.
It wasn’t until over 600 years later that it saw any further significant growth when the “double whammy” of a Great Plague and Great Fire in successive years pushed people west from the City.
The walk focusses on the area around Whitehall and tells some of the lesser-known stories behind some of the world’s most iconic buildings and monuments: Civil war double agents and property speculators; a Royal execution (and the revenge meted out for it); how a “Great Stink” begat one of London’s greatest civil engineering projects; and how different one of the most famous buildings in the world might have looked had the “Battle of the Styles” in Victorian architecture gone the other way.