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A new exhibition charting forgotten London shows the city as you’ve never seen it before

Forgotten farms, old markets and opulent gin palaces are among London’s lost landmarks being celebrated in a new exhibition.

Paintings, photographs and films are all used to bring the capital’s vanished architecture back to life as well as a huge map of Victorian London pointing out the city’s theatres and music halls for visitors.

Among the long-gone structures included in the exhibition at the London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell is the massive Euston Arch, which stood outside the station for almost 30 years before it was demolished in 1962, and the Skylon, which was erected on the Southbank for the post-war Festival of Britain.

There are paintings showing Archway in the 1840s, when the area was a rural suburb filled with farms, and Crystal Palace. Also included are photographs of Caledonian Market in 1930, when Islington was home to the city’s cattle trade.

The pictures also cast a light on old riverside industries, including shipyards and shot towers used to melt down lead for ammunition.

Laurence Ward, the City of London Corporation’s head of digital services at the archives, said: “The capital is evolving constantly but despite the ever-changing landscape and skyline, traces of a forgotten London remain. 

“Some of them have been preserved deliberately and others have been left behind by accident, and they all provide a fascinating insight into the capital’s history.” 

Picturing Forgotten London opens at London Metropolitan Archives on May 21 and runs until October 31. Admission is free.

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