Imagine you're sailing down the Thames. Suddenly, the luxury apartments and looming skyscrapers disappear to reveal a more human landscape. Cottages, windmills and country taverns appear. Here and there, we see a workshop, brewery or private folly peeping among the trees.
All this can be browsed at leisure on the remarkable Panorama of the Thames website.
The site has restored a little-known panorama of the Thames from 1829 — the late Georgian period. Both banks of the Thames are covered between Richmond and Westminster. Scroll along and zoom in on some 15 miles of riverside, as it would have appeared 10 generations ago.
We find a very different London. The city soon peters out to reveal fields and woodland. Even in central London, the buildings are diminutive. Buckingham Palace is clearly visible from the river. All the important locations are annotated — just click or tap a building to learn what it was.
The site also contains a few comparisons, showing how the river has changed over almost two centuries, coupled with additional panoramas of central London.
For those who'd rather have it on their coffee table, the full panorama is also available as a book, which got our five-star review a few years ago. You can also listen to our interview with its compilers.