When mooching around London you can see some beautiful & unusual historical things if you #lookup or #lookdown
Walking around Shoreditch in East London the other day, I #lookedup and spotted a Victorian building standing proudly on Holywell Lane, amongst the trendy converted warehouses and land earmarked for development. It is incredible the building is still standing - during the Blitz most of the properties on this lane were completely destroyed by bombs.
It caught my eye because of the elaborate stone carvings with vivid colours situated above several of the windows. The inscription on the main panel is "G.T 1893" (perhaps the initials of the architect?).
Three-hundred years before the Victorian builders were putting their finishing touches to the blue, green & yellow decorative carvings, there is every chance that a certain Eastender by the name of William Shakespeare could also have been found mooching along Holywell Lane...
It is likely Shakespeare lived in Shoreditch when he first moved to London, and we know his early plays were performed in the nearby playhouses the 'Theatre' and the 'Curtain' (the Theatre was dismantled in 1598 and later rebuilt across the river as the Globe). Like many people, I've always associated Shakespeare with Stratford-upon-Avon and Bankside, so it feels quite novel to identify him with East London and to think that he would have navigated the area much like we do today.
If you could travel back in time to watch a Shakespearean play in either of these East London playhouses, which play would you choose?