UK base mapCountry map londonRegion map londonCounty map london

London

London (including Inner London and Outer London) is in the South East of England. It has a population of around 8,170,000 and covers approximately 157,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey.

London is the capital city of England and the UK and its history has been largely shaped by the River Thames which runs though it. There is evidence of human occupation in the area dating back over six thousand years. However the first recorded major settlement was Londinium which was built by the Romans, destroyed by Celtic Queen Boudicea and the Iceni tribe and rebuilt to became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia. Centuries of decline followed the fall of Rome and invasion by Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Within the ancient walls of Londinium, the Medieval city of London was later established, which became the capital again and grew into a wealthy trading and financial centre. Visitors to the Museum of London can see exhibits which tell the story of the development of London from prehistory through to the modern day.

London is among the worlds most cosmopolitan cities and within it can be found a great diversity of people and cultures from across the globe. The term Greater London is now used to describe the old city and the surrounding 32 boroughs, which are surrounded by the home counties from where many of the capitals workers commute. The cities public transport network of buses, overground and underground trains is among the oldest and largest systems in the world and its airports the busiest. The capital is a global leader in areas such as finance, fashion, the arts, education and media and has long attracted people looking for success in their chosen field. Over the centuries some of them have dropped or thrown artefacts into the River Thames and some have since been found on its banks, including coins, pottery, jewellery and glass.

There are more than 200 galleries and museums in London, housing some the worlds most important cultural treasures, which attract millions of visitors each year. The British Museum has millions of items in its collection, representing human civilisation from across the world dating back through thousands of years of history, including sculptures, paintings, prints, books, jewellery, coins and pottery. The Victoria and Albert Museum has the worlds largest collection of decorative art and design, with exhibits from many countries, including textiles, costumes, furniture, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass and metalwork. The National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square, has a collection of thousands of paintings and drawings, from Medieval, to Renaissance and Impressionist. There are many important works by great artists, such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Turner, Constable, Degas, Cezanne, Monet and Van Gogh. Tate Modern is in what was once the Bankside Power Station and the galleries collection of contemporary and modern art includes work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.

There is a great variety to the architecture of London, although most buildings in the centre of the city were constructed after the Great Fire of 1666. Among the cities many iconic buildings are Buckingham Palace, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Elizabeth Tower which houses Big Ben. There are four World Heritage Sites, which are Kew Gardens, the Tower of London, Greenwich and the site of Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster. London has a rich cultural and social life, with many theatres, concert venues, pubs, clubs and parks of various sizes, that provide a venue for a wide range of events as well as a place to relax away from the busy city streets. Works of literature created by writers such as Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens have been set in London and many television programmes and movies have been filmed in the city. Those wanting to experience something of Tudor England, can travel out to the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, to visit Hampton Court Palace which was built during the 16th century and became a Royal residence of among others Henry VIII and Charles I.



David Bailey

(Born 1938 in Leytonstone in London), Photography

Famous 20th century fashion and celebrity photographer

Bryan Stanley Johnson

(Born 1933 in London in London), Fiction

The writer of Christie Malrys Own Double-Entry in 1973, a dystopian meta-fiction about a disalutions man rans his life using the Double-Entry book keeping system.

Bridget Riley

(Born 1931 in Norwood in London), Art

Bridget Riley is a British artist who was born in Norwood, London. After attending Cheltenham Ladies' College, she studied at Goldsmiths College and the Royal College of Art. She is known for her Optical Art, an abstract style which utilises optical effects to engage and stimulate the viewers senses. One of Britain's best known artists, her work appears in major collections around the world.

Jean Simmons

(Born 1929 in Lower Holloway in London), Music, Theatre

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1948 for her role in Hamlet, the Laurence Olivier version. During the 50s she moved to America and work in Hollywood. She performed in the Londons West End during the 70s.

Derek Davis

(Born 1926 in Wandsworth in London), Pottery and ceramics, Painting

Derek Davis developed his ceramics, coming up with several innovative techniques. In 1994 he had an eye operation which afterwards left him unable to work with the pottery kiln, which was when he then started to focus on his painting.

Anthony Alfred Caro

(Born 1924 in New Malden in London), Sculpture

Caro was a modernist sculptor who found success in the 1950s. He is also accredited with being the first person to remove the plinth, allowing viewers to be more connected with his work.

Antonia Forest

(Born 1915 in Hampstead in London), Fiction

Forest was a writer of books aimed at a young audience, you may as a child have read her most famous works about the Marlows.

Alicia Markova, Dame

(Born 1910 in Finsbury Park in London), Dance

Dame Markova was a great ballerina and along with Sir Anton Dolin was a founder of the English National Ballet.

Julian Bell

(Born 1908 in St Pancras in London), Poetry

He created two main books of poetry, Winter Movement in 1930 and Work for the Winter in 1936 among other works.

Kenneth Muir, Prof

(Born 1907 in London), Nonfiction

A scholar and prolific author of works on Elizabethan, Shakespearean and other theatre.

Eleanor Hibbert

(Born 1906 in Canning Town in London), Fiction

A prolific writer of romantic, historical and Gothic fiction with around 200 novels written under many pseudonyms.

Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, Sir

(Born 1904 in London), Photography

Famous British fashion photographer and award winning designer.

Eric Ravilious

(Born 1903 in Acton in London), Painting

Known particularly for his watercolours of the South Downs, he was a painter, designer, book illustrator, wood engraver and war artist.

John Melville

(Born 1902 in London), Painting

Painter, who was part of the Surrealist Movement.

William Roberts

(Born 1895 in Hackney in London), Painting

William Roberts, British artist, was a war artist and painted groups of figures and portraits.

John Nash

(Born 1893 in London), Art, Engraver

John Nash, British artist, painted landscapes and also worked as a wood-engraver and illustrator.

Mark Gertler

(Born 1891 in Spitalfields in London), Painting

Mark Gertler, British artist, painted portraits and still life pictures.

Claud Lovat Fraser

(Born 1890 in London), Painting

You may be a ble to see some of his work at the Tate in London, including works like The Slave Market, Nude Study and Seater Female Nude.

Christopher R. W. Nevinson

(Born 1889 in Hampstead in London), Painting

Christopher Nevinson, British artist, painted landscapes and also worked at etching and lithography.

Paul Nash

(Born 1889 in London), Painting

Paul Nash, British artist, painted surrealist pictures, landscapes and was a war artist and book illustrator.

Dame Edith Mary Evans

(Born 1888 in Pimlico in London), Theatre

There is an English Heritage blue plaque on her house at 109 Ebury Street, London. She was mainly a stage actress but was in a silent movie called A Welsh Singer and she makes an appearance in East is East the 1917 film directed by Henry Edwards. It is quite a charming film that you can watch on the bfi site.

Virginia Woolf

(Born 1882 in Kensington in London), Fiction

Virginia was her middle name and Woolf her married name. She came from a wealthy family and home schooled. She wrote a number of novels, The Voyage out, Night and Day, Jacobs Room, Mrs Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, The Years and lastly Between the Acts. She was also a writer of short stories and a critic amongst other literary works.

Pamela Colman Smith

(Born 1878 in Pimlico in London), Illustration

Smith is most famous as the illustrator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, that you would see in 1970s films. The original cards were around since the 15th century.

Ambrose Heal

(Born 1872 in Crouch End in London), Furniture

He was an apprentice cabinet-maker in Warwick and then bedding designer in the family firm, Heal and Son. He wa a founder member of the Design Club, which was formed back in 1909.

William Heath Robinson

(Born 1872 in Finsbury Park in London), Illustration

Robinson was a cartoonist and illustrator who created drawings of overly complicated devices, hence the term Heath Robinson, when describing something that is overly complicated for the task in hand.