6 Jun 2010

Type Tour

A few weeks ago I went on a walking tour organised by type which was led by the very knowledgable, ex-compositor, John Voller. It took in the area around Fleet Street and St Pauls where the print industry grew up alongside the many associated disciplines/crafts, not least typography.

This tour was the ‘West’ route, there is also one that starts in Old Street, the ‘East’ route. It was fascinating to learn about the history of print and typography and to have this illustrated through a series of locations which would otherwise escape attention.

Here are some photographic highlights and comments. Tours can be booked online (West here, East here) and for each booking a donation is made to the St Bride Library (well worth a visit in its own right).

St Bride Institute

The tour kicks off in the yard outside the St Bride Foundation, home of the St Bride Library, where this olde hand painted script can be seen just above the doorway.

St Bride Foundation

Even higher up is this piece carved into the stone, a sign that when this was put up the foundation were planning on being here for the long term (touch wood, they still are).

St Bride Church Steeple

Visible from the yard is the steeple of St Bride’s Church, home to the final resting place of many of Fleet Street’s great historical figures.

Samuel Pepys Blue Plaque

Blogger extraordinaire Samuel Pepys gets a pretty nice plaque just off Fleet Street.

Bolt Court

Spotted on the floor as we turned into Bolt Court.

Daily Courant

Another ‘blue plaque’, this time celebrating London’s first daily newspaper, The Daily Courant, first published the year before the death of Samuel Pepys.

Stationers Hall

Stationers’ Hall, home of one of the many livery companies operating out of the City of London. This was the birthplace of modern copyright as we know it.


Goldsmiths, another livery company.

Postmans Park Thomas Simpson

A visit to Postman’s Park offers some sad tales of heros who died in their efforts to save the lives of others. (Check out Caroline’s excellent exploration of the stories found in the park.)

Richard Kindersley

A recurring theme throughout the latter part of the tour is the outstanding stone work of Richard Kindersley, this an example of one of his trademark spirals on a war memorial outside St Pauls.

Here’s a map of the area covered by the tour, thank you to John and type for putting it on, I’ll sort out the East one soon.

Subscribe to my newsletter for news, events and projects from the world of ghost signs. I curate the newsletter roughly monthly and welcome submissions.