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Friday, 31 August 2012

London Monopoly (13): The Strand

Continuing my tour around the London Monopoly board with the first property in the red set.
Somerset House, The Strand
The next place on the London Monopoly board after Vine Street (the previous post in this series) is 'Free Parking' but as there is very little free parking anywhere in London I will move straight on to The Strand. Properly, this street is simply named 'Strand' but it is always called The Strand.
Remarkably it's name was first recorded in the year 1002 as Strondway and there were also references to the street from the seventh century. It was part of a route used by the Romans to join what is now the City of London (Roman Londinium) to the Palace of Westminster. So, a major London route for at least two thousand years.
It runs from Trafalgar Square to Fleet Street and one of it's most interesting buildings is Somerset House, an important eighteenth century piece of British archaeological heritage. The forecourt of Somerset House, shown above, is turned into a public ice-rink most winters. The Courtauld Institute one of Britain's many world-class free art galleries is located there.
There is currently a free photographic exhibition of the first 50 years of the Rolling Stones on display at Somerset House


John said...

A history lesson as well as a geography lesson Bazza! You are the font of all knowledge! :)

All Consuming said...

Great stuff, lovely building too :D

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I always learn such interesting information from your posts. We Americans love you Brits and all your history.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Bazza, quite a history for the Somerset House as well as for The Strand itself. This is a very handsome building and I love the idea of a ice rink in the winter; "The dancing fountains."

My stars! Have the Stones been around that long?? I think I'd like to take the tour of the gallery.

Hooray for the 'red set'.

bazza said...

John: Well I do research these things you know! But I do start from a point of some previous knowledge. Thanks for your kind words.

bazza said...

AC: Isn't it beautiful? And in Summer there is a display of fountains.

bazza said...

SO,AC: For so many Americans it's your history too!

bazza said...

Dixie: It does make one feel old to remember the Stones from way back!

Austan said...

I love this series! Please keep going!

bazza said...

Austan: Thank you. I do intend to work my around the board and then I'll have to look for another idea!

joanne fox said...

"Let's all go down the Strand ('ave a banana)"

Somerset House looks so lovely when the skating rink is there.

bazza said...

joanne: I remember that old cockney musical-hall song!
I haven't seen the ice-rink but I have seen the fountain display.

Kelly said...

Hi Bazza,

You've provided some interesting info about The Strand and somerset House. I can't believe how freaking old some of these places are, that you talk about during these "tours" around London. The year 1002? For Americans like me, in such a relatively young nation, that seems ancient- which- I guess it actually is, no matter how you look at it.

Great picture of The Rolling Stones, taking it easy at the Somerset House, too.

You take it easy, too.

Sincerely, Kezza

klahanie said...

Hey bazza,
You continue to take me on a tour of places I'm familiar with.
And once again, your additional interesting information is greatly appreciated.
I've heard a rumour that the Stones are going back on tour. Coming to a bingo hall near you.
Cheers, Gary

bazza said...

Kezza: I know, it doesn't seem believable. At that time the Americas were only populated by Native Americans, and Incas and Aztecs (I think!)
I don't think that photo of the Stones is actually taken at Somerset House, it's just on show there. It's a great pic and I can't remember seeing Charlie Watts smile at any other time!

bazza said...

Gary: Have you spent a lot of time in London? I'm sure there are plenty of Londoners who are not really familiar with Somerset House.
The Stones may be touring again. Why not? They can collect their pensions at any Post Office around the country!