Greek temples, Georgian squares and ‘Gotham City’ dominate London’s academic and intellectual quarter
Bloomsbury survives as one of the few grid-plan neighbourhoods in London and this unique feature is indicative of the ambition and idealism that defined the planning of this new residential quarter at the end of the seventeenth century. With the Great Fire of London prompting migration to the west of the capital, Bloomsbury emerged as a formal network of straight streets and axial squares, a direct counterpoint to the unyielding irregularity of the older City of London. This enlightened urban vision attracted the academic and literary world, who were to eventually cluster around the extraordinary Grecian temple of the British Museum, now containing Europe’s largest indoor courtyard. Add to this the elegant order and precision that the new Georgian style brought to Bloomsbury’s tranquil streets and squares and you have an indelible imprint of Georgian London.
University College London
WALK START LOCATION: Holborn tube station (Kingsway Entrance) / Map
WALK ENDS: University College Hospital