Scenes From Old London: 1900

More everyday scenes from London, photographed around 1900.

A policeman directing the busy horse-drawn traffic in Piccadilly.

A similar scene in Piccadilly on a different day. Traffic congestion was just as bad 122 years ago as it is now.

Piccadilly Circus at the time.

Clerkenwell, known as ‘Little Italy’.

A street in Kensington, when that area was considered to be a slum.

A woman selling fish from a cart. (Jon has let me know this was actually taken in Whitby, Yorkshire. It was listed along with the others as ‘Old London’. I have left it in anyway, as it is evocative of the era.)

Wych Street.

Seven Dials, Covent Garden.

Some parts of London were still very rural in 1900. Here is a blacksmith’s forge in Highgate at the time, and a residential street nearby.

53 thoughts on “Scenes From Old London: 1900

  1. Notice how smokey every photo is. No electric or gas heating — burn that coal.
    And the teams of street cleaners who had to shovel horse manure, what a job. Where did they take it all? Can you imagine how filthy the Thames was in 1900?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (1) Did you hear about the horse that got a ticket on Mane Street? It was tailgating.
    (2) First, I’m going to visit Oakey’s Wellington Knife Polish. Then, I’m going to take a stab at clearing out some of that traffic!
    (3) You were able to pick a dilly of a circus photo!
    (4) And then one day, Giacomo lo squartatore decided it was time to rome around Little Italy…
    (5) One night, the bums in Kensington got together for a slumber party…
    (6) That woman always smells like fish, much to the displeasure of her husband.
    (7) Doers get things done. Dewar’s gets people drunk, and then they can’t do a thing.
    (8) Jack the Ripper had no use for seven dials. He only had use for one. (Dial M for Murder)
    (9) In the U.S., the most important forge was not a blacksmith’s forge. It was Valley Forge.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again great history photos. With all those horses it would take an army to clean the horse poo each day/night, I’m sure they would have required a horse and cart themselves that would also leave a poo trail, I can imagine the poor cleaner looking over their shoulder after each street mumbling I’m sure I picked it all up 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Don. Whitby is 265 miles north-east of London, on the East Coast of Yorkshire. It is a fishing port and tourist destination. I suspect whoever compiled that collection assumed the cobbled street was in Victorian London.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  4. Ah hah. I asked where all the people were in the previous pics and there they are! I can’t imagine driving a horse-drawn carriage in those streets, or trying to navigate as a pedestrian. Interesting to see the old signs, Pears soap, Dewar’s whiskey, Fry’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. More great photos Pete, thanks. I hope you won’t mind my telling you this, but the photo of the woman selling fish from a cart was actually taken in Henrietta Street, Whitby! It still exists in a very similar form to this day [and is much photographed for that reason], and there is a kipper smokery [Fortunes] where I buy my wonderful kippers! 😀 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No trouble at all, Pete. If you get chance, you might like to check out the photographs of a local photographer, Glenn Kilpatrick: he will have taken many photos of Henrietta Street, possibly from the same position as the one of the fish seller, and he has taken many photographs of participants in the world-famous Whitby Goth Festivals 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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