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Walk History - Explore London's Historic Places

Ever wondered what makes a house Georgian? Or what it would look like if you mixed Brutalism with the Baroque? Perhaps you're more interested in social history and never knew Soho has been Queer for more than 130 years.

As part of Historic England’s Keep it London campaign, we wanted to bring the history of London's neighbourhoods alive with our new walking app. Using photos, archive images and the occasional video, we'll help you identify architectural periods and understand what makes them different.

This app release explores Soho, The City and Ealing. In early autumn we'll update to include other areas of London.

Soho

130 Years of Queer Soho (or thereabouts)

Old Compton Street has been the recognisable hub of London's LGBTQ scene for more than a couple of decades, but through our Pride of Place project we've now managed to find more than 130 years of uninterrupted alternative lifestyles existing within Soho's historic walls. On this walk we will visit those hidden and sometimes forgotten places that have kept Soho queer, from the late Victorian era to the present day.

York Minster, now the French House, on Dean Street, Soho. 1890s
York Minster, now the French House, on Dean Street, Soho. 1890s © Historic England AL2384/030/01

Spotter’s Guide: The Early Georgian Townhouse

Soho has some of the best examples of houses from the Early Georgian period in the whole of London. By the end of this short tour you'll be able to point out key architectural features that make a house Early Georgian as well as learn some architectural terms which you will be able to apply to other buildings from different eras. If this sounds too academic for you, don't worry, this tour is aimed at the novice up.

Each stop has a very short glossary for any tricky words as well as pictures which highlight particular features.

1-7 Meard Street, Soho are Georgian terraced houses dating from 1732
1-7 Meard Street, Soho are Georgian terraced houses dating from 1732 © Historic England BL21828

The City

Spotter’s Guide: Post-War Architecture

Visit some of the most stunning examples of post-war architecture that the City of London has to offer. We’ll see how modern architects adapted to radical changes in how we live, learn and work. New buildings for a new era which had to meet commercial demands for open-plan offices and provide attractive spaces with ingenuity and a deep understanding of human needs.

The post-war period saw an array of architectural movements and by the end of this tour you will be familiar with some of the different styles.

Lloyds of London, 1 Lime Street, City of London. Exterior view from north.
North elevation of the Lloyds building, 1 Lime Street, City of London. © Historic England DP131010

Ealing

Ealing, Queen of the Suburbs – Part I & II

A wonderful guided walk of Ealing's built heritage first compiled by John Foster White in 1970, updated by him in 1986 and again in 2016 by Ealing Civic Society.
This latest version includes images and archive photos for some of the buildings along the way, along with links to extra reading and resources for those who want to find out more.
The original was a long walk so we’ve split into two parts, both of which start near to Ealing Broadway tube station.

Haven Green, with horse drawn carriages in the foreground. 1895 – 1910
Haven Green, with horse drawn carriages in the foreground. 1895 – 1910 © Historic England PC10572
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