16 old pictures of London landmarks… and how they look today

16 old pictures of London landmarks… and how they look today

To mark the launch of the new version of its popular app Streetmuseum, The Museum of London has released 16 old pictures of London which juxtapose the historic views with their present-day perspective

Streetmuseum 2.0 includes more than 100 new locations and pictures of London, ranging from 1868 to 2003, and along with the hidden histories of these locations the app also allows you to order prints of some of these pictures of London directly from the Museum’s website.

The composite pictures of London released with today’s update were all taken by renowned photographers from the late 19th and 20th Centuries, such as Wolf Suschitsky, Henry Grant, Roger Mayne and George Davison Reid.

Their images have been blended with modern pictures from the same locations to show the ways in which they have changed (or haven’t). Locations include Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, Blackfriars, Brick Lane, and new additions such as Richmond and Ealing.

Scroll through the gallery below to see all 16 historical pictures of London.

Click here to download the free Streetmuseum 2.0 app for iPhone.

16 old pictures of London landmarks… and how they look today

Cheapside, 1893 + 2014. A street seller of sherbert and water is photographed on Cheapside completely unawares of the camera. Paul Martin was the first photographer to roam around the streets of London with a disguised camera taking candid pictures such as this solely for the purpose of showing ‘life as it is’.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Covent Garden c.1930 + 2014

Covent Garden c.1930 + 2014. Street scene at Covent Garden with underground station and horse and cart in the background. George Davison Reid photographed activity in the marketplace from opposite Covent Garden Underground station on Long Acre. A police constable was often needed to control the congestion of the horses and carts and increasing numbers of motorised vehicles. The long established market place was under pressure to move. The congested facilities were described at the time as ‘altogether inadequate to the necessities of the trade’. However, the fruit and vegetable market did not relocate until 1973.

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Old pictures of London then... and now: Palace Theatre; 1958 + 2014

Palace Theatre, 1958 + 2014. A night shot outside the Palace Theatre before an evening’s performance. The Frankie Vaughan Season ran from 20 January to 16 February 1958 and included Vaughan as the headliner and artists such as Petula Clark, who was to sing her latest hits. Collins created a number of night-time photographs playing with the bright lights of the West End to record people enjoying the buzz of fifties nightlife.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Brick Lane: 1957 and 2014

Brick Lane: 1957 and 2014


Old pictures of London then... and now: Marble Arch 1956 + 2014

Marble Arch 1956 + 2014. People sunbathing in Hyde Park with Marble Arch and the Odeon cinema in the background. The attendant is selling tickets for the deckchairs which are available for hire in the park. The Odeon which was originally a ‘Regal’ cinema, opened in 1928. The façade of the building was made from Portland Stone and featured columns and statues however in 1964 it was thought too small and the building was demolished and a larger cinema complex was built in its place.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Piccadilly Circus 1953 + 2014

Piccadilly Circus 1953 + 2014. Piccadilly Circus, Coronation day,June 1953. Crowds gather to witness the Coronation procession of Elizabeth II. The coronation went ahead in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, and at the Queen’s request, the entire ceremony was televised throughout the Commonwealth, and watched by an estimated twenty million people.

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Old pictures of London then... and now: Victoria station in 1950 + 2014

Victoria station in 1950 + 2014. Boy shining shoes outside the Tea Room at Victoria station in 1950. A group of porters can be seen with their trolleys waiting to help travellers with their luggage.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Charing Cross Road, St. Giles Circus c. 1935 + 2014

Charing Cross Road, St. Giles Circus c. 1935 + 2014. Charing Cross Road is renowned for its specialist and second-hand bookshops. Suschitzky was attracted by the extensive array of second-hand bookshops and teahouses, and the crowds that flocked to them. The resulting series of photographs are amongst Suschitzky’s most acclaimed work.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Byward Street c.1930

Byward Street c.1930. This photograph shows Byward Street near Tower Hill, looking west with the church of All Hallows by the tower on the left and the former Mark Lane Underground station on the right. Reid photographed the streets and buildings of London and the activity in them in the 1920s and 1930s.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Tower Bridge c.1920 + 2014

Tower Bridge c.1920 + 2014. From the west side of Tower Bridge, George Davison Reid composed this photo looking out across the Upper Pool. This image is atypical of Reid’s work, being a posed shot. The children appeared in other photos at different riverside locations. It has been suggested that some of the girls could be Reid’s daughters.

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Old pictures of London then... and now: London Bridge railway station c.1930

London Bridge railway station c.1930. A view of the forecourt of the Southern Railway’s terminus at London Bridge. This was the oldest railway terminus in London, having been built for the line linking London and Greenwich in 1836. The double-decker bus on the right belongs to the London General Omnibus Company which was, in 1933, to become part of the London Transport System.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Blackfriars Station c.1930

Blackfriars Station c.1930. George Davison Reid took this photo of Blackfriars station entrance from outside 179 Queen Victoria Street. The station was originally called St Paul’s and was opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in 1886. Above the station were the premises of Oppenheimer Son and Co Limited, which manufactured pharmaceutical specialities. The Times newspaper was also based here in Queen Victoria Street. A decade or so after Reid photographed this exterior, the station was bombed in the Blitz of 1940 and largely destroyed. The offices of The Times newspaper were also hit.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Bow Lane c.1930

Bow Lane c.1930. A view of Bow Lane, off Cheapside in the City of London, looking south to the crossing with Watling Street and St. Mary Aldermary in the middle distance. ‘Ye Olde Watling’ tavern was originally built just after the Great Fire of 1666. George Davison Reid supported the Society of Antiquaries of London, which promoted the study of London’s architecture, and was interested in photographing older architecture and locations. He took this photo of Bow Lane in the late 1920s.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Oxford Street c.1903 + 2014

Oxford Street c.1903 + 2014. Oxford Street. Horse-drawn Hansom cabs dominate the traffic.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Duncannon Street 1902 + 2014

Duncannon Street 1902 + 2014. View of Duncannon Street decorated with bunting and banners for the coronation ceremony of Edward VII. There are pedestrians and vehicles in the foreground and the National Gallery is visible in the distance.


Old pictures of London then... and now: Gloucester Road Station 1868 + 2014

Gloucester Road Station 1868 + 2014. The exterior of the completed Gloucester Road Station on the underground Metropolitan and District Railway, which was opened on 3rd October 1868. From a series of 64 photographs taken in the late 1860s by Henry Flather to document the construction of the railway from Paddington to Blackfriars via Kensington, Westminster and the new Victoria Embankment. Construction was by the ‘cut-and-cover’ method used to build the first underground railways before the development of the tunneling shield by James Henry Greathead . The first tunneled, or ‘tube’, railway in London was the City & South London Line, which opened in 1890.


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