Above: View of the City from Borough High Street, taken on 12 March 2015.
I don’t know how you see London. We are all different and therefore our perceptions are also going to vary. Having lived in London all my life and got to know most of it quite well, I find that I look around me and suddenly there is a new vista that I had not seen before.
The picture is not particularly scenic but it is is packed with interest and the coming together of so many buildings into one view is what made me reach for my camera and record what was in front of me.
The view to me is not a new vista in one sense because I have seen it so many times before while walking up and down Borough High Street on many many occasions. What was interesting was to notice the ‘new kids on the block’ that had been added to what was for me a familiar scene.
So where was it taken and what is there to see?
The view was taken from the pavement on the east side of Borough High Street, just south of where the church of St George the Martyr stands. Borough High Street twists and turns along its length so only part of the street is visible at any one time.
We are looking north along the street at the building with a decorative roof , large chimneys and two rows of three windows that stands on the island site, almost opposite the George Inn. Behind it is the tower of Southwark Cathedral and behind that is the semi-circular roof, with white masonry, of an office building in Gracechurch Street that was until recent times the headquarters of Barclay’s Bank. Behind that (and to the left) is the tall dark block now known as Tower 42 (because it has 42 floors).
Buildings in the foreground to the right are on the east side of Borough High Street. Above the roofline is the tallest building in the view (with diagonal struts supporting the upper floors) which is the Leadenhall Building – known as the Cheese-grater because of its sloping side, which is catching the light in the picture. Behind that is the tower block in Bishopsgate with a long spike on top, called the Heron Tower (named after the developers). Just protruding from the left side of the Heron Tower is the Bishopsgate Tower which stands on the north side of Broadgate.
Finally, peeping over the top of the roofline (towards the right) is part of the curved roof of the latest tall addition to the City’s office buildings – it is called 20 Fenchurch Street. Under that curved roof is London’s tallest covered roof-garden and cocktail bar.
The traffic-lights and tops of double-decker buses all add to the untidiness of the view. However, if I had waited until there was no traffic, I might have been still standing there days later!