I’ve been out for another walk around central London by the Thames, this time starting from Vauxhall tube/railway station, and criss-crossing over the river before ending up in Trafalgar Square.
The former Battersea Power Station, now home to the super wealthy.
Attached to Vauxhall bridge are eight large piers are eight striking statues of allegorical figures.
Designed by two artists F.W. Pomeroy and Alfred Drury, they designed four apiece, with Pomeroy completing the ones up stream; Agriculture, Architecture, Engineering and Pottery) and Drury down stream (Education, Fine Arts, Science and Local Government.
Looking over the mini-Manhattan that has sprung up around Vauxhall and Nine Elms.
The current bridge opened in 1906, designed in a joint effort by Sir Alexander Binnie and Maurice Fitzmaurice, built by London County Council (LCC) engineers, replacing a bridge built on the same spot between 1809 and 1816.
Ssssch! It’s the secret MI6 building, which houses the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, MI6).
The site is rumoured to include a tunnel under the Thames from the building to Whitehall.
The numerous layers over which the building is laid out create 60 separate roof areas.
25 different types of glass were used in the building, with 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) of glass and aluminium used in the building’s construction.
The windows in the SIS building are triple glazed for security purposes.
Due to the sensitive nature of MI6’s work, large parts of the building are below street level, with numerous underground corridors serving the building. Amenities for staff include a sports hall, gymnasium, aerobics studio, a squash court and a restaurant. The building also features two moats for protection.
Seagulls assemble by the north-western side of Vauxhall bridge.
A new luxury development springs up next to St George Wharf Tower (on the right).
Sadly, that tower is already linked to two deaths after a helicopter crashed into the crane at the top of the construction in January 2013. Both the pilot and a pedestrian at street level lost their lives.
The mighty Shard as seen from the north bank of the Thames.
Gardens wedged between Millbank and the Thames.
Approaching the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.
County Hall, which was once home to the London County Council and latterly the Greater London Council (GLC) and Inner London Education Authority (ILEA).
Flogged off by the government in 1990, it’s now mainly home to tacky tourist attractions.
Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Looking back towards Vauxhall and Nine Elms.
The London Eye (aka the Millennium Wheel), is Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK with over 3 million visitors annually.
Back at the Southbank Centre.
The heatwave and record breaking temperatures have created a ‘false autumn‘ in London.
The York Watergate in Embankment Gardens was built in 1626 as a grand entrance linking the river to York House, a grand manor houses facing the River Thames.
When Joseph Bazalgette built his famous sewer network in the 1860s, the gate ended up marooned in the Embankment Gardens, some distance from the shoreline.
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