London’s ‘Pedway revisited’

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 15/09/2018
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Location
Barbican tube station

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Launching our new series of walks considering what has been ‘Forgotten‘.  Whether it’s forgotten paths, routes or walks, or of the people who have trodden the ground before us.

London’sPedway‘ was to be a 30 mile network of pedestrian only routes on bridges, terraces and walkways several feet above the ground.  This network was to provide safe routes for pedestrians in the City of London, away from the traffic, so that the traffic could flow unimpeded.

Begun in the early 1960s, and as much inspired by pedestrian terraces of the Festival of Britain, on the Southbank a decade earlier, as they were by the architect Courbusier or town planner, Buchanan.  The network was never realised, in fact there were only ever some short sections, the most enduring being the ‘high walks’ of the Barbican centre.  Partly found to be unpopular with pedestrians, and partly because it was left up to individual developers to add to the network as they constructed new buildings.

A section of the ‘Pedway’ along London Wall has been given a new lease of life, with the opening of a new office block development, with rust coloured sinuously curved steel bridges and walkways replacing the more utilitarian concrete passageways.  It provides for an intriguing view of some of the City’s best kept gardens and the ruins of St Alfage church.  However, it is from the Barbican’s ‘high walks’ that you can see some of the best views of the ruins of the Roman wall and much more ‘greenery’ beside.

You have to go and search for other sections of the ‘Pedway’, and our route won’t take you to all of it, as that around the Middlesex estate and Petticoat Lane market is only accessible to residents, but we encounter anomalies, intriguing views, and eventually end by joining the Thames Path at London Bridge and see a magnificent view of Tower Bridge.

 

£12 adult, accompanied children come free