After enjoyable and informative visits to St. Martin-In-The-Fields, St. Mary le Strand and St. Clement Danes, it was time to head off. After all – St. Paul’s Cathedral had been my goal. In 1975, forty years ago, I attended a wedding in the crypt below. It was a wonderful couple – a then-popular actress and her dashing actor husband. Her parents were neighbours in our flat, just off Baker Street. The marriage did not end well, so no names. As I head off, inspired by the restored St. Clement Danes, it is with these memories of four decades earlier and that wedding celebration to egg me on. And it’s the excitement I’m feeling from rediscovering the city of my birth and youth.
Walking where one’s eyes takes one can lead to wonderful discovery. Two days on my recent visit to England, led me to scratch the surface of some London history. That history charts a direct path to the London of today. I encountered the important architectural work of James Gibbs, the abode of Dr. Samuel Johnson and the legacy of Christopher Wren: A man of letters who gave us the English dictionary, and an architect who was inspired by the Italian Renaissance to give us St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Clement Danes and the Royal Observatory at Greenwich down river, and who in turn was a key guidance in the career of Gibbs.