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13 Beautiful Behind-The-Scenes Pictures Of Hidden London

Ever wondered what Big Ben – the bell – actually looks like?

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1. Big Ben, the bell at the top of the Elizabeth Tower at the palace of Westminster, the home of the houses of parliament.

Peter Dazeley

The tower was completed in 1859 after a competition to find the best design. The clock controls five other bells, as well as Big Ben itself, which weighs 16 tons and has a crack that's still visible and affects its sound.

The building and tower are commonly referred to as Big Ben, but only the bell is actually called that.

2. The main pump room at Crossness Pumping Station.

Peter Dazeley

This pumping station in east London was part of Sir Joseph Bazalgette's huge sewer network, a Victorian solution to contamination of the river Thames and drinking water. It opened in 1865, and its interior has elaborate wrought iron and cast iron decoration.


3. Control Room A at Battersea Power Station.

Peter Dazeley

Built in two phases in 1929–1935 and 1937–1955, Battersea Power Station was finally shut down in 1985. This control room has marble walls, wooden floors, and an elaborate ceiling in keeping with its ornate art deco design.

5. Abbey Road Studios, St John's Wood.

Peter Dazeley

Originally a townhouse built in the 1830s, the studios were opened by Sir Edward Elgar in 1931 and are now synonymous with The Beatles, who recorded almost all their singles and albums there in the 1960s. However, The Beatles themselves, like everyone else at the time, referred to the complex simply as EMI.

7. The quick-change area backstage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Peter Dazeley

The oldest West End theatre, the Theatre Royal has burned down twice. The current structure dates back to 1812.


8. New West End Synagogue, Bayswater.

Peter Dazeley

The synagogue is famous for housing several conflicting architectural styles: Saracenic, Byzantine, Assyrian, Neo-Grecian, Orientalist, and Romanesque.

9. St Sophia's Greek Orthodox Church, Bayswater.

Peter Dazeley

The iconostasis at St Sophia's, which separates the nave from the sanctuary, is made from walnut and shows 22 images. There is special religious significance to each image and also their placement in relation to the others.

10. The balcony inside the cottage at Fulham FC's Craven Cottage ground on the banks of the Thames, traditionally used by players' families.

Peter Dazeley

Scottish architect Archibald Leith – who also designed Glasgow Rangers' Ibrox ground – was hired to build what's now called the Johnny Haynes stand in 1899.

11. The Daily Express Building, 120 Fleet Street.

Peter Dazeley

Serpent handrails, reflective surfaces, and rosewood veneers – this wasn't an ordinary newspaper office. And Express Newspapers built similarly designed offices for its outposts in Manchester and Glasgow. The Express titles left the building in 1989.

12. Punching bags at Repton Boxing Club, a former Victorian bathhouse in Bethnal Green.

Peter Dazeley

The club has been based there since 1971, but has been in existence since at least 1884.

13. The vault of Midland Bank, Poultry.

Peter Dazeley

Once the largest deposit bank in the world, this building's vault door weighs 25 tons and guards 3,500 deposit boxes. The door was incredible enough to be shown at the British Empire Exhibition in 1924 as a wonder of the world.

Unseen London, photographed by Peter Dazeley with text by Mark Daly, is published by Frances Lincoln and is available now.


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