Monday, 11 May 2015

North London Walk

Youngest son agreed to join me for a walk around north London.  We cheated slightly by taking the Tube to Archway and then walking back via Camden Markets, Regent’s Park and Oxford Street. 

We’ve now passed through Camden twice on Waiouru but never stopped to have a look around.  Mostly because it’s so crowded!  Today was no exception with the crowds but we’re not coming back so decided to seize the opportunity.

It wasn’t until I had read Les’ (nb Valerie) blog post that I realised what a major connection there is between Camden and the canal network.  I was therefore particularly interested to see if I could find some of the hospital features Les had described.

Camden Lock Markets

I had assumed the primary purpose of the horse hospital and stables were to care for horses associated with the canal network.  It has been quite a surprise to read many (the majority?) of the horses were used by the railway company to move wagons around the adjacent Camden railway goods yard.  At its height more than 800 horses worked in the yard.  Obviously there weren’t many shunting locomotives.  Actually horses were cheaper!  The 19th century moved on horse power and 10% of the nations agricultural output was devoted to feeding them.

You can read about the stables and horse hospital here.

I’m not sure where the rail yard was in the 19th century but today it is west of the old hospital and stables.  These have now been converted into market stalls.

It’s interesting to observe how the connection to horses has been maintained.

Eventually we came upon the horse ramp which enabled horses to walk to the second storey of the Horse Hospital.

After joshing with the seething mass of humanity for 40 minutes and getting tired of walking past a continuous line of stalls selling bling, we decided to move on.

Dan wanted to walk through Regent’s Park but avoid the canal.  That was fine with me as it would provide an alternative to the previous day’s cruise.

I couldn’t help notice one tower crane on the southern fringe of the park was desperately in need of viagra.

It was an indirect route back to the boat because we needed to find a supermarket in order to buy a 9V battery for the multimeter (subsequently identified as being stuffed!).  Then Daniel wanted to go to John Lewis to buy a woollen topper for his new bed.  They were on special (70% off) which gives some idea of the mark-up on stock.  By now we were on Oxford St and well south of a direct route home.  We started zig-zagging through the back streets in a NW direction and on rounding one corner discovered the following building at the end of the street.

It’s St Mary’s Church, London and is located in Bryanston Square It was designed by Robert Smirke and constructed of brick with a stone portico and tower.  The church was opened in 1824.  What actually caught my eye was the unusual semi-circular stone portico.

1 comment :

Marilyn McDonald said...

Very interesting, Tom. When we lived in London I went to Camden a few times but was so overwhelmed by the mass of humanity and tat, that I didn't observe anything about the architecture. I remember reading Les's blog with interest. Some exploring for David and I to do when we are there, hopefully in June.
We always enjoyed walking around the backstreets in London - from the crush of Oxford St to almost deserted roads and pavements just one block back!
Cheers, Marilyn