This day in London’s History
1897: The Blackwall Tunnel is officially opened. In its day, this was the longest underwater tunnel in the world. And the most expensive at nearly £1.5 million. Many buildings were demolished to make way for the tunnel including, sadly, a former residence of Sir Walter Raleigh. Originally, just one tunnel was built, which catered for traffic going in either direction. Because of increasing road use, however, a second tunnel was bored in the 1960s. The original is today’s northbound tunnel.
London fact of the week
Walter Raleigh had other, much more famous, residences in London. Several of them with interesting iron-bar features. After serving time at her majesty’s pleasure in both the Fleet and Marshalsea prisons, Raleigh went on to enjoy 13 years in The Bloody Tower. The simple rooms where he was imprisoned and wrote his ‘Historie of the World’ are preserved within the Tower of London. After release, he undertook a largely unsuccessful voyage to Guiana, before returning home for an appointment with the executioner’s axe. He now rests in pieces within St Margaret’s Church, next to Westminster Abbey.
London person of the week
One thing you must do in London this week
So what are you doing to celebrate National Be Nice To Nettles Week? (American readers: Yes, we Brits really are that eccentric.) The Natural History Museum is hosting a special day devoted to the stinging weed on Saturday. After several hours of inspecting nettle products, we guarantee you’ll be itching to leave.