FAIRY MAP OF LONDON
This impossible map of London is from memories of the Fairy Queen Bess of Holebourne from her long, long life of more than 300 years.
Many landmarks of modern London are not present because the actual city of London lies only between the Tower & the far side of Saint Paul's Cathedral as shown in the map. All other great landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Piccadilly Circus and the whole West End are in the city of Westminster which surrounds the ancient tiny capital.
I chose to base the map on Van Visscher's panoramic map of London from a little after the time of Queen Elizabeth I, when the fairy queen Bess was a young woman (1616).
It shows the old London Bridge that always seemed to be falling down, not only in the nursery rhyme but also in real life.
The large church in the foreground is St Mary Ollave, now Southwark Cathedral.
The octagonal building next to it is William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Also visible is the Millennium Footbridge linking the Tate Modern to St Paul's Cathedral.
A lot of the old city was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 including the Old St Paul's Cathedral.
Bess’ map shows the new Saint Paul’s Cathedral built by Christopher Wren after the fire, as well as the Monument (to the Great Fire of London - built so the tip of its shadow falls on the start of the fire at Pudding Lane) which still stands today by modern London Bridge. The church tower to the front of the Monument is St Magnus the Martyr, which guarded the roadway to old London Bridge and became very rich collecting tolls for crossing the bridge.
The church tower to the east of St Paul's Cathedral is the reconstructed tower of St Augustine's on Watling Street (the old Roman Road). Believed to have been built by Wren's protege, the mysterious Nicholas Hawksmoor, it was reconstructed in the 1950's after being destroyed in a WW2 air raid.
The building on the river in front of the financial district skyscrapers is the old Billingsgate Fish Market. The tower to the east is the corporation of Trinity House, home of the General Lighthouse Authority of England & Wales. Tower 42, the Gherkin at St Mary Axe and the Lloyds building represent the financial modern city, while next to the Tower of London is Tower Bridge opened in 1894.
The bulbous glass building partially obscuring Tower bridge is City Hall, HQ of the greater London Authority comprising of the Mayor of London's Offices and the London Assembly. It is also referred to in somewhat less flattering terms as the Egg, the Onion, the Glass Gonad and even, at one time, Ken's Testicle, a rather back-hand tribute to a previous Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.