No. 565: Camden Walk, N1
Camden Head, Camden Walk, London, N1. Photo © Roger Dean 2012
The Little World of London – Charles Manby Smith, 1857:
A CALM IN THE CITY
London is a vortex, into which everybody and everything that comes near is drawn, and kept whirling round a common centre, from one weeks end to another. But when the week is over, and the Sabbath morning bells ring in the Day of Rest, then comes a remarkable change – a contrast so marked as probably no other spot on earth exhibits. Whatever may be the case in some parts of the vast area of the metropolis, in the old city district, which is under the immediate jurisdiction of the corporation, Commerce, folding herself to sleep with the last breath of Saturday, moves not a limb till Monday morning dawns, and for four-and-twenty hours upon this usually turbid sea of conflict there is a dead calm.
It is drawing towards eleven, on a summer Sunday morning, as we find ourselves crossing the area in front of the Exchange, bound for a lonely ramble among the solitudes. As we traverse Cornhill, there is but a single figure in view, and that is the policeman, whose footfall, echoed from the opposite side of the way, is the only sound, until it is broken by the rattle of the wheels of a distant omnibus, which reverberates with unwanted distinctness from the lofty walls around us, and then dies away. We turn down a court in which the clear song of a blackbird, perched somewhere above in his lone cage, echoes among the chimney tops. No sign of life greets us in the court, which opens into another, where also silence and sunshine reign together.