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The Old Lady of the City

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Apologies dear readers! I know I have been tardy in posting and responding to your comments and emails this month. The only excuse I have to offer is that my offline life has demanded a bit more of my attention lately - all for good stuff - and that kept me away, albeit unwillingly. This has been my longest absence from this blog since I started it 11 months back and believe me I have missed it and you all like nothing else!

But I didn't stop 'flaneur-ing', clicking and writing in all this time (I rarely ever do). I assure you that my tardiness has only been limited to sharing it all with you, and here I am, setting that right!

So what have I been up to? For starters, soaking in as much of the Christmas lights as possible - you didn't think I was kidding when I was worshipping light in the last post, did you? I cannot help but gravitate towards light in this cold dreary London winter.

Welcome to the old world charm of Leadenhall Market in the City of London.


Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market


Leadenhall Market is probably one of the oldest in the UK. Its origins (by virtue of its location, not the present physical form) can be traced back to - hold your breath - AD40! The market itself dates back to the 14th Century. Over the ages, it has taken several avatars under several rulers and periods and several reconstructions. It has gone from being a leather market to a cutlery market to the present day chic-apparel-cum-pub/cafe-hotspot. It was severely damaged in the Great fire of 1666 and rebuilt in the 1880s by Sir Horace Jones (prolific builder of markets around London at the time). The present building was last renovated completely in 1991 when the market was reopened for the general public in its modern avatar. But most of the old architectural detail has been conserved and enhanced further by the City of London council's sensitive urban design interventions.

I think it's a beautiful structure, made prettier by this year's Christmas lights.


Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market



Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market



Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market



Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market



Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market


I cannot help but think of the analogy of tasteful jewellery on a wrinkled but beautiful old lady who stands in stark contrast to the young 'uns around her, but outshines them with her old-worldly grace.


Old world revisiting at Leadenhall Market



Coming up: A new series about a certain part of London that the urban designer/planner and history lover in me is completely in love with. Also, with this blog's first birthday coming up in January, there is a lot that is about to happen on this blog! :)

8 comments so far:

Paul Nixon said...

Nice photos as usual, Shilpa. It's always a bit like taking a few steps back in time when you enter the market and I think it's still used as a film location on occasions. There's a great fish stall there, and a pub - The Lamb (I think) - not to mention the bookshop of course. It looks great with the Christmas lights.

Purely Narcotic said...

Love love the starry-effect!

And yay, you're back! :)

Ankit Ashok said...

Mesmerizing pictures.
Great work!

Flaneurbanite said...

Paul: Thank you! Yes, the market has served as a backdrop to several movies. And how could Bollywood be left behind - it was strangely disconcerting for me to be sitting in a Bangalore theatre, watching Saif Ali Khan gyrate to bhangra pop beats in front of the Reiss store in Leadenhall market, in the recent movie Love Aajkal.

Oh, and I still have the Selfridges' Christmas display on my to-click list! :)


Pure Narcotic: Thanks! I am indeed back! I never was away, really... just lurking in the shadows :)


Ankit Ashok: Thank you so much! And thanks for visiting. :)

Curly said...

There is a lot of old Victorian charm to be seen in your pictures and they exude a very warm light.

Flaneurbanite said...

Thanks Curly!

Rahul said...

woooh lovely colors, totaly love the pics.

Erinn said...

Great series. I really like how the first few photos are framed. They make me feel like I'm wandering through he narrow streets of London, something I wish was emulated at home!

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