No. 752: Belgrave Road, E13
Belgrave Road, London, E13. Photo © Roger Dean 2013
The Little World of London; or, Pictures in Little of London Life – Charles Manby Smith, 1857:
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 unwonted 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. The court debouches into Lombard Street – “a shore where all is dumb.” We read on signs aloft of “coupons” and “rates of exchange;” but there is not a chink of coin, not a blink from a single half-opened shutter among all the banks, whose wealth might purchase a kingdom.