The Society formed in 1985, saving from demolition, London's first public library in Great Smith Street
We respond on behalf of residents and businesses to local planning applications. Our 350+ members
enjoy local visits & talks of historic and other interest, social events and an archive of books, prints, plans
The Victoria Tower Gardens & The National Holocaust Memorial
14th April 2017 Article in The Telegraph (Christopher Hope, Chief Political Correspondent)
12th April 2017 Article on BBC website. See here
2nd March 2017 30-40 local residents, interested parties and members of the House of Lords & Commons attended an exhibition in Westminster Hall of the 10 short-listed Architects submissions, followed by a meeting in the House of Lords chaired by Sir Peter Bazalgette of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation. With over 1,000.00 signatures on the petition now, the Foundation was left in no doubt of our opinions as to why this is the wrong site. READ MORE on the petition page.
More publicity for our cause, as it was featured in The Times on Saturday 25th February.
Read the article here http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/jewish-peer-criticises-holocaust-memorial-kwh3jjhfn.
9th February 2017 Sir Edward Leigh's adjournment debate in the House of Commons. Read Hansard transcript here.
PARK THREATENED !
To read more and SIGN THE PETITION - CLICK HERE
Here are some of the comments by those who signed CLICK HERE
5th February 2017 : Article in The Observer (Rowan Moore)
4th February 2017 : Article in The Guardian (Ian Jack)
27th January 2017 - On Holocaust Memorial Day, the Shortlist was announced. To view CLICK HERE
One of the submissions on the Shortlist :
Studio Libeskind and Haptic Architects
UPDATE - APRIL 2017
Transport for London has decided not to sell its iconic headquarters at 55 Broadway for a luxury residential redevelopment. They will sell the building as an office investment via a sale-and-leaseback.
Thorney Tales (12) The Jerusalem Chamber
Westminster Abbey and its monastic surrounds have seen more great scenes of history than practically anywhere else but seldom more poignantly than the last visit of Henry IV. In 1413 Henry was on his way to the Holy Land in order to do penance for his misdeeds when he took ill, probably as a result of a stroke, while praying at the shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor in the Abbey.
He was carried unconscious to the Jerusalem Chamber in the Abbot's house and was seated by the fire. Much of the original stonework is still there as is the ceiling above and the walls behind the Victorian panelling. When he recovered his consciousness he asked where he was and was told the "Jerusalem Chamber". He realised then that he was about to end his life because of a prophecy mentioned in the Holinshed Chronicles that he would die in Jerusalem.
Shakespeare took the story further. In Henry IV Part 1, he allows Prince Henry, the future Henry V, to slip into the chamber and, believing his father to be dead, to try on the crown only for Henry lV to wake up in anger. Father and son, however, were soon reconciled and Henry IV realised that dying in this room fulfilled his destiny:
"It hath been prophesied to me many years,
I should not die but in Jerusalem,
Which vainly I suppos’d the Holy Land.
But bear me to that chamber, there I’ll lie,
In that Jerusalem shall Harry die."
The Jerusalem Chamber was also the place where the committee overlooking the writing of the beautifully written King James Bible met and where many celebrated people such as Isaac Newton were laid to rest before being buried in the Abbey. Today it is one of the private rooms of the Deanery - but it can be glimpsed from outside as it is the room above the Abbey bookshop adjacent to the main entrance. It is not open to the public except on certain open days but sometimes events and lectures are held there which are free to attend.
Wigram House, 84-99 Ashley Gardens, Public Exhibition
61-71 Victoria Street
We object to the proposed remodelling and extension of this building on the grounds that it will detract from the only remaining block on Victoria Street that contains a significant late-Victorian building, Artillery Mansions. The existing building compliments Artillery Mansions well, with the robust articulation of the façade, the bold corner turret feature, and a similar height. All these will be lost with the new scheme.
Follow this link to Westminster City Council to view details, documents and drawings. Click here - Ref. 17/02123/FULL
Visits & Events 2017
VICTOR KEEGAN GAVE A WELL RESEARCHED EXCELLENT TALK ON 'SHAKESPEARE'S LOST LONDON' IN APRIL. WE ARE NOW WORKING ON SEVERAL INTERESTING VISITS AND WILL POST AS SOON AS THEY ARE FINALISED.
Wednesday 21st June - Summer Drinks Party, Grange Rochester Hotel 6.30pm - Tickets on sale in May
Wednesday 15th November - AGM, Grange Rochester Hotel 6.30pm
Thorney Tales (11) - The Abbey Garden
It is a little known fact to most people that the oldest garden in the country is located at the back of Westminster Abbey and is open to the public several days a week. It is an oasis of tranquility at the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.
WCC say "No" (AGAIN!) to proposed sculpture outside Westminster Central Hall
UPDATE - January 2017
We regret to report that the Appeal has been dismissed by WCC. Many of the arguments used by the Council to prevent this small sculpture from being placed at Central Hall (eg. within its Monuments Saturation Zone) would apply to the Holocaust Memorial but will they take the same view ? We suspect not.
UPDATE - April 2016
Westminster City Council have disappointly turned down this application. Read more here in a Guardian article.
To sign the on-line petition to overturn the decision, click here.
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We support this application for the installation of the sculpture 'Homeless Jesus' in front of the Methodist Hall on Storey's Gate.
The sculpture is very moving and is appropriate in this location, near where there is so much wealth and yet so many rough sleepers.
Westminster Fire Station
UPDATE: December 2016
The Society is sorry to have to report that planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of this important heritage building.
Following a public exhibition in May, please see our response here or on the Planning page.