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Spectacular Vernacular
London’s 100 Most Extraordinary Buildings
by David Long

Spectacular Vernacular This book will surprise you. In it you can’t find Albert Hall, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace or any of the buildings that automatically come to mind when we think of London architecture. Instead, Spectacular Vernacular is about London's 100 strangest and most surprising buildings.

Details about each building reveal their histories and their many odd associations. An illustration for each building whets the appetite to tour around London to spot these curious and unfamiliar places that we pass by and probably have never noticed. Most of the buildings are not open to the public, but there are a few exceptions if you know who to ask.

These historic and highly individual buildings range from a 300 foot tower in the heart of Kensington to a 1000 foot wide building to an arts centre built of old shipping containers to the tent tomb of a Victorian explorer. For good measure there’s even a private cable-car tunnel under the Thames and a 6 acre complex of top secret offices under Whitehall. There’s Severndroog castle in SE18 built to commemorate a battle and a man who died at his daughter’s wedding; 14th century Whitefriars crypt in EC4’s Magpie Alley, once used as a rubbish tip, and Trafalgar Square’s Police Station Lantern, the smallest police station in London housed in a lamp-post.

Thought you knew London’s buildings? Have a read of Spectacular Architecture and discover what you don’t know—its secret architecture. Use the book to plan a few days’ out and about. You won’t be disappointed.

Author David Long has been a writer and journalist since 1983. While a columnist for the Sunday People he created a popular weekly cartoon strip which appeared in The Times each Saturday. He has written for a large number of magazines in Britain and abroad as well as a number of books.

Spectacular Vernacular
216 pages, 110 B/W illustrations
Published 2006
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Phoenix Mill
Stroud, Gloucestershire
ISBN: 0-7509-4187-1

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