Book Review | Vic Keegan’s Lost London 2

cover of vic keegan's lost london 2 book

A coffee in the Onion Garden with the inestimable Vic Keegan – journalist, oenologist, poet and historian of London.

His ‘Lost London’ column ran weekly on the OnLondon website (where its archive can still be found), each piece perfectly capturing a small fragment of our disappeared capital – places that were once hugely significant or important or popular, but which the tides of history have closed over and which need historians like Vic to bring to the surface once again.

A few years ago the first 160 of these articles were collected together in book form, and when I reviewed it, I hoped that there would be a subsequent volume (or volumes).

Well this has now come to pass, and my visit to the Onion Garden was so I could pick up a copy of Lost London 2, another collection of articles that any student of London history has to acquire.

We start with details of what used to be on the site of the Strand Palace Hotel (inter alia, a grand house for the first Lord Burghley, a Jacobean shopping mall, and a zoo), and finish with a short biography of Thomas Gresham (the instigator of the Royal Exchange), ‘the first true wizard of international finance’. In between you can discover what happened to Smirke’s General Post Office in St Martin’s-le-Grand and the Notting Hill hippodrome; hear about lost Bloomsbury and Clerkenwell, and read little-known stories of famous people, and discover others who should perhaps be better known.

It is essential reading before embarking on any wander around central London’s streets.

You can buy copy of Lost London 2 at Amazon, or direct from Vic himself.