Esoteric London

No. 751: Watling Street, EC4

Posted in Friezes, London Types, Statues, Wartime London by esotericlondon on January 14, 2013

© Roger Dean RED_4178 copy

Watling Street, London, EC4. Photo © Roger Dean 2012

Twice Round the Clock; or The Hours of the Day and Night in London – George Augustus Sala, 1862:

An Emperor will always be called Caesar, and a dog “poor old fellow,” in whatever country they may reign or bark, I suppose; and I should be very much surprised if any men of Anglo-Saxon lineage, from this time forward to the millennium, could build a new city in any part of either hemisphere without a street or streets named after certain London localities, dear and familiar to us all. There is a Pall Mall in Liverpool, though but an unsavoury little thoroughfare, and a Piccadilly in Manchester – a very murky, bricky street indeed, compared with that unequalled hill of London, skirted on one side by the mansions of the nobles, and on the other by the great green parks. Brighton has its Bond Street – mutatus ab ille, certainly, being a fourth-rate skimping little place, smelling of oyster-shells, sand, recently-washed linen, and babies. I question not but in far-off Melbourne and Sydney, and scarcely yet planned cities of the Bush, the dear old names are springing up, like shoots from famous trees.

[ The photograph above is of one of the reliefs on the Admiral Arthur Phillip memorial in Watling Street in the City of London. The plaque beneath it informs us that it depicts “the discovery and fixing the site of Sydney on Wednesday, 23rd. January, 1788” whilst the plaque on the front reads;

IN HONOUR OF

ADMIRAL ARTHUR PHILLIP, RN

CITIZEN OF LONDON

FOUNDER AND FIRST GOVERNOR OF AUSTRALIA

BORN IN THE WARD OF BREAD STREET 11th OCTOBER 1738
ENTERED THE ROYAL NAVY 1755 & DIED 31st AUGUST 1814
TO HIS INDOMITABLE COURAGE, PROPHETIC VISION,
FORBEARANCE, FAITH, INSPIRATION AND WISDOM, WAS DUE THE
SUCCESS OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT IN AUSTRALIA AT SYDNEY ON
SATURDAY 26th JANUARY 1788
THIS MEMORIAL, ORIGINALLY ERECTED AT ST. MILDRED’S CHURCH
BREAD STREET AND UNVEILED BY HIS LATE ROYAL HIGHNESS
PRINCE GEORGE, KG GCVO RN
ON 7th DECEMBER 1932 WAS PRESENTED BY THE LATE
CHARLES CHEERS, BARON WAKEFIELD OF HYTHE, CBE LLD
ALDERMAN OF THE WARD OF BREAD STREET
LORD MAYOR OF LONDON 1915/16
TO THE CITIZENS OF LONDON AND THE PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA
AS AN ENDURING LINK BETWEEN THE MOTHERLAND AND THE
GREAT ISLAND CONTINENT OF AUSTRALIA
THE CHURCH WAS DESTROYED BY ENEMY ACTION IN 1941 BUT
THE BRONZE BUST AND PLATES WERE SALVAGED FROM ITS RUINS
AND RE-ERECTED ON A NEARBY SITE ON MAY 8th 1968
FOLLOWING RE-DEVELOPEMENT THIS MONUMENT WAS PLACED
HERE WITH THE KIND PERMISSION
OF FIDELITY GUARANTEE CORPORATION PLC

R.D.]

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