This day provides a splendid survey of the Arts & Crafts movement, with excellent examples in many media.
It begins with the 1859 Red House at Bexleyheath – as did the Movement – designed by Philip Webb for the Morris family.
Other places seen are a City pub (the Black Friar), a Chelsea church (Holy Trinity Sloane Street), a dining room in South Kensington (in the V&A, for which it was made), a Hammersmith home (Emery Walker’s) and a wallpaper factory in Chiswick. (Among the present occupants are Martin Randall Travel, and participants are invited in for a drink.)
This rather special London Day unlocks some of the grandest historic interiors and reveals a concatenation of architectural glories and significant sites which have probably never been cajoled into a single-day sequence before.
They are scattered across London from the City to Westminster, and across time from mediaeval to Inter-War.
The lecturer, Gavin Stamp, is a leading authority on British architecture, and a prolific author and columnist.
Hawksmoor’s greatest achievement remains the six London churches built in accordance with the 1711 Act of Parliament: this day visits them all.
The journey by coach takes in St George’s Bloomsbury, St Mary Woolnoth, Christ Church Spitalfields, St George-in-the-East Stepney, St Anne’s Limehouse and St Alfege Greenwich. Thomas Archer’s contemporaneous St Paul’s Deptford is also included.
Led by architectural historian, Professor Gavin Stamp.
The focus is the twentieth century, with a little spillage into adjacent decades at both ends. Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Elizabeth Frink, Charles Sargeant Jagger and Fernando Botero are among the sculptors whose works are studied.
Most are on display in public places but one, a Reclining Woman by Henry Moore, is accessible only by special arrangement.
The south side of the river between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge now plays host to some of London’s most prominent art museums, concert halls and theatres.
Much of the walk’s fascination lies in what has been untouched by this gentrification a few hundred yards inland, where there remain enthralling vistas of Victorian warehousing and industry, intersecting viaducts, strangely well-preserved Georgian terraces.
There are lively markets and the last of the great coaching inns, and a couple of the most famous of contemporary buildings, City Hall and The Shard, western Europe’s tallest.