Above: Part of the Strand riverside from Visscher’s panorama of 1616.
As has been mentioned in a previous article, we celebrate the 400th anniversary this year of the publication of one of London’s finest panoramas – by Claes Vischer in 1616. During this term we have been looking at some of the Strand and its many places of interest. Visscher’s panorama includes drawings of the buildings beside the River Thames on the far left of the view.
The image above includes Durham House (far left); a windmill that looks like it was standing on the north side of the Strand; Savoy Palace, with the turrets on Burghley House behind it; Arundel House; and finally Essex House (on the far right).
In the far distance the skyline contains rising ground with a little church labelled ‘Harrow on the Hill’. Visscher had certainly done considerable research of all the available printed material before setting out his amazing view. Although he had to copy visual information from other maps and prints, his perspective was completely original. The panorama gives a view of London from about 1600 and brings the capital ‘alive’ in a way that other panoramas and maps cannot possibly achieve.
Subscription members can download a specially labelled section of the panorama related to the area of the Strand. In addition there is an A4 document describing the buildings and giving a brief history of the places shown on the panorama.