One of the things that I love about the City of London is the way that it is constantly changing. The one thing that rarely changes is the actual street plan, so you walk down the same roads that people have been walking for centuries but around you amazing new buildings pop up. Our boys went off on an Explorers’ Expedition to the Peak District over the Easter weekend, leaving Mr CW and I home alone. We spent one of the days wondering around the City of London looking at Roman remains ….. watch this space for my reviews of the Mithreum and a Roman House and Baths hidden beneath Billingsgate. As we strolled along Eastcheap I glimpsed up to see the Walkie Talkie Building loomed over both us and the buildings on Eastcheap.
Whilst Mr CW and I pondered on the fact that we had just been looking at Roman remains nearly 2000 years old and here was the ultra modern 20 Fenchurch Street, as the Walkie Talkie is officially known, standing over us like a Colossus, another building stepped forward and grabbed our attention, not for its size but for its extravagant Victorian gothic architecture.
31-35 Eastcheap is Grade II* listed and has recently undergone a refurbishment into, what I suspect are, beautifully appointed offices, I assume, but it was built as a vinegar warehouse. Hill and Evans manufactured vinegar in what was the world’s largest vinegar factory in Worcester. When they decided that they needed a London distribution centre, they turned to the architect R L Roumieu who produced this Gothic extravaganza for them. Even at the time it was deemed to be eye-catching! I wonder what will end up stealing the Walkie-Talkie’s thunder in the future?
At the very top of the Walkie Talkie building is the Sky Garden which is free to visit, but you must book first, the views are stunning and it is well worth going.