CH brochure-1084
Behind the Scenes: The Charterhouse
The Charterhouse, Charterhouse Square, EC1M 6AN, 25 may attend.
Tube: Barbican, Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines)

NOTE: This event has now SOLD OUT
There is a Wait List in operation, and you will be contacted should a space become available.

Saturday, 1 April, 2:15 - 4:15

Join Eric Parry Architects and one of the ‘Brothers’ of Charterhouse for a very special tour of one of London’s hidden gems.

Eric Parry Architects with Todd Longstaff-Gowan landscape architects are working on plans to open up the The Charterhouse with a museum, learning centre and cafe. Hear the story of this historic enclave, centred on a 14th century Carthusian monastery, originally the chapel site for a Black Death burial ground founded by Sir Walter de Manny.

Following the Dissolution int eh 16th century it became a Tudor mansion house, and thereafter a charitable school and almshouse in the 17th century thanks to the philanthropy of a wealthy commoner, Thomas Sutton. The Charterhouse School moved in the 19th century and the almshouse became the primary occupant of the site. It was occupied by elderly gentleman known as ‘Brothers’. It was bombed in 1941 and repaired extensively in the 1950s.

London’s Great Estates
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City lines)

NOTE: This event has now SOLD OUT
There is a Wait List in operation, and you will be contacted should a space become available.

Tuesday, 4 April, 6:30 - 8:30
Join Society Chairman, Peter Murray for the launch of our series of events based on London's Great Estates.

Grosvenor, de Walden, Portman, Bedford - the estates of London - are key to the capital's special and distinctive character. Today modern estates such as Kings Cross, Broadgate and Village East London are also providing some of the benefits of their ancient peers: long-term thinking and investment, high quality placemaking, on-going maintenence and careful stewardship.

A key part of the Society’s 2017 programme will be on the theme of these estates, with walks and tours and comment in the London Society Journal. This series will celebrate the best of the estates while aiming to understand their modus operandi and review what lessons they hold for the London of the future.


LS - Drivers of Change
What is Driving Change in Outer London?
Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark St, SE1 0HX
Tube: London Bridge (Northern line), Southwark (Jubilee line)

Thursday, 20 April, 6:30 - 8:30

A fascinating talk on the dynamics of social change.

Against a background of discussions of suburban decline in Outer London, some areas have seen "upscaling", where higher socio-economic groups are replacing lower ones.

Is this a form of 'gentrification' ask Alan Mace (LSE) and Antoine Paccoud (LSE Visiting Fellow), and what is causing it to happen?
Unsurprisingly, the ratio of social upscaling to downscaling across the capital is related to housing costs, and it suggests an ‘overspill’ of households from parts of Inner, to parts of Outer London.
Are there physical characteristics that make some parts of Outer London more attractive to upscalers, and are changes of tenure playing a role?

Mace and Picoud examine the data to try to give us a better understanding of the drivers of change in Outer London, and what this might mean for growth in the city.

Historic Greenwich: A Right Royal Surprise
Cutty Sark, King William Walk, SE10 9HT, 25 may attend.
Tube: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (Docklands Light Railway - DLR)

Saturday, 29 April, 10:30 - 1:00

Tudor Palace, Baroque architecture, first Classical building in London and 21st century celebrations?

If it's all in one place it must be Greenwich. We will see all this and more on this stroll that will include a busy market, a Hawksmoor church and a Royal Park. Find out why Dickens visited, who changed Christopher Wren's plans for the seamen's hospital and the connection to Les Miserables! And if we time it just right we'll be able to set our watches exactly right by Greenwich Mean Time! 

The walk will last about 2.5 hours and there are plenty of places for lunch and visits in the afternoon if you want to make a day of it.

A Better Green Belt? Making the Green Belt fit for the 21st Century
The Gallery, 75 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL
Tube: Farringdon (Circle, Hammersmith & City lines)

Thursday, 4 May, 6:30 - 8:30
Passions run high on all sides in discussions about the future of the Green Belt, but what, if anything, should be done? 

The Green Belt that has wrapped around London since the 1930s was created due, in large part, to the advocacy of the London Society. 

But does this 20th Century solution for restricting the capital’s growth meet the challenges of the 21st? Could the Green Belt be improved to help the environment and better facilitate new housing?

Previous debates have tended to generate more heat than light, with speakers characterised as “for” or “against” the Green Belt. This London Society event will present a range of views and see if there are any approaches that can satisfy all parties.

Join us for what is sure to be a lively, stimulating and interesting discussion.

Chaired by
 Paul Finch, editorial director of the Architects' Journal

Speakers include:

  • Richard Knox Johnston, London Green Belt Council
  • Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive U+I plc
  • John Myers, London YIMBY
  • Alice Roberts, CPRE


London Icons Series: London Cabs – Paint it Black
Make Architects, 32 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JY
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Thursday, 25 May, 6:30 - 8:30
The London Icons Series focuses on the black cab - but Stephen Bayley's talk promises to be more iconoclastic than celebratory. As he explains:

Charles Eames said the London black cab was the greatest ever design.  One of his more acid contemporaries said that, to an American, for a design to be great, it had to be both European and useless.  Both these observations are true.  The black cab is an institution.  And like most institutions, it is both drenched in attractive tradition and hobbled by a bone-headed refusal to innovate.  Never mind Uber, twenty years ago the black cab business failed to anticipate (or perhaps chose to ignore) the systematic improvements to bookings and payments that the internet promised. 

And then there are the folkloric cabbies themselves. They ceased to have cheeky-chappie chivalric status long ago and instead translated themselves into a Luddite rump of foul-mouthed, unhelpful psychotics.  Marginalised by GPS, undercut by Uber, one day soon it will occur to all of us what an absurd system it is that possessors of “The Knowledge” drive empty taxis around the streets, forlornly looking for custom.  Meanwhile, every survey of London brands includes Big Ben, red ‘buses and black cabs.  Pitiably, this symbol of London is owned by Chinese.

Join us for what promises to be a witty, incisive and probably controversial talk, as Bayley skewers a few myths, and asks whether the black cab is going the way of the Hansom and the trolley bus - and should we care if it does.

Stephen Bayley was once described as the “second most intelligent man in Britain”, this is both debatable and possibly untrue, but he was certainly the person for whom the term “design guru” was coined, a title he accepted with what he likes to think of as self-deprecating irony.

Aerial view of Mayfair at night, London
Great Estates: Grosvenor
Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark St, SE1 0HX
Tube: London Bridge (Northern line), Southwark Street (Jubilee line)

Members Priority Booking : until Wednesday, 29 March

Tuesday, 6 June, 6:30 - 8:30
Evolving Mayfair & Belgravia Together
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has published a 20 year vision to transform its London estate and tackle the pressures facing the capital. With London's rapid growth, Grosvenor wants its estate in Mayfair and Belgravia to work harder for its communities and all Londoners by adapting - with better streets, greener spaces and more active and enterprising places that appeal to the many, not just to the few. It is calling for new partnerships between public and private sectors, and with those who live and work on the estate, to bring about this change.

Will Bax, Executive Director, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, will outline Grosvenor’s history and approach and his perspective on the future of the estate.

This is part of the London Society's Great Estates series of talks and events.


routemaster bus
London Icons Series: Routemaster – A Marriage Made in London
Make Architects, 32 Cleveland Street, W1T 4JY
Tube: Goodge Street (Northern line)

Thursday, 22 June, 6:30 - 8:30

Join Jonathan Glancey for a celebration of London's beloved Routemaster!

Designed and made in London by Londoners for London, the Routemaster bus was a marriage of skills that served the city for half a century. It has yet to be bettered.
Its design was led by A. A. M. “Bill” Durrant, London Transport’s Chief Mechanical Engineer (Road Services), architect of the highly successful and long-lived Centurion battle tank and production engineer of Halifax bombers made by London Transport at its Aldenham Works during the Second World War.

Wartime experience was to revolutionise the design and construction of the London bus.
“The first thing to do”, said Durrant,“was to make a complete reappraisal of the operating requirements, and we asked the Operating Managers to try and erase from their minds all the past features they had specified, to think out their requirements from rock bottom and ignore for the time being any restrictions that hitherto might have had an influence upon them, such as Ministry regulations, the aim being to get down to the ideal bus from their point of view'.

Douglas Scott, a freelance industrial designer who had previously worked on the RF-single decker styled the engineering-driven Routemaster. From the beginning, this lightweight bus was a refined, economical and enduring machine.  It was and remains a symbol of the city it served.