Wednesday, 18 July 2007

OK, feeling a bit bad about not updating the blog since last Saturday but am aiming to get a few in this week as I've inadvertently found quite a few on my daily commute to work.

Anyway, the last blue plaques that I went to visit were all local quick wins. We were off to visit some friends in Hertfordshire and had an hour or so in the morning spare. After figuring out where they were on google maps I jotted the addresses down and we hopped on the bikes and headed down to the first of the five I hoped to find.

Currently a branch of Waterstones, 10-11 IslingtonGreen, is the former Collins Music Hall. During its heyday from 1885 onwards the biggest stars of the day inclusding Arthur Lloyd

Just around the corner is the former house of Charles Lamb, 64 Duncan Terrace, who is also known as Elia (Elia being the pen name he used as a contributer to The London Magazine). He lived here with his sister who had been placed in his care after she had murdered their mother in a fit of madness. During his time working at East India House, on being told by his bosses that he was always late to arrive, he would quip "Yes, but see how early I leave!"

*update 20-07-2007 (note the date!) I have just found some audio recordings of Charles Lambs work that you can listen to here

A couple of minutes on the bike later saw us outside 4 Claremont Square this was the home of Edward Irving, founder of the Catholic Apostolic Church. Of all the five this was the least impressive being just off a very busy road and in desparate need of a lick of paint.

If the previous one was pretty unimpressive 25 Highbury Place stands statesman like overlokking Highbury Fields. The home of Joseph Chamberlain the former Politician and father of the prime minister to be, Neville Chamberlain, I've walked past the property dozens of times without ever noticing the dark brown, square plaque that sits on the front of the building.

This was a flying visit but very interesting to see Highbury and Islingtons blue plaques that are only minutes from our home.

After a great night we headed over to our hosts pub, The Vine in Ware for some lunch and a few drinks before heading back to london. On the walk home after getting off at stoke newington we passed a pub called The Daniel Defoe and looking up I saw that the adjacent road was called Defoe Road, it was Jess that pointed out his blue plaque high above what is now a dry cleaners on the corner of Defoe Road and Stoke Newington Church St. Real proof that even when you go out looking for Londons History it will still throw up a few surprises!

1 comment:

Cat Armstrong said...

Really interesting to read about your local plaques.
Coincidentialy, I'm reading a book about 19th century London at the moment, which includes comments from Charles Lamb.
As his sister suffer recurrant boats of mental illness, he moved them from Islington to Enfield in 1827, which he regreted for the rest of his days, writing in his diary
"I hate the country. I miss the bustle, excitement and convenience of London life"
A lesson for us all....