Regency (H)not Spots: Aldersgate Street

    Aldersgate Street, in the City of London along the ancient London Wall, was named after the northern gate of the city. From the commercial guide of 1818, its clear to see it was a busy street full of a variety of merchants. It was also the home to several coaching inns for routes to the north. By no means a fashionable street, it … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Soho Square Bazaar

              As late as 1839, Soho Square was described in History of London as presenting “a very pleasing and somewhat rural appearance”.  Dating back to the 1680s, it has a park and garden area in the center complete with a statue of Charles II. (here is a link to another post on the statue in the square: From … Expand

Regency Science and Invention: Paris and the Modern Rollercoaster

Although a wheeled roller coaster called the Switchback is said to exist as early as the 1600s in Russia, Paris is often said to be the birthplace of the modern roller coaster for its two attempts, Les Montagnes Russes a Belleville and Promenades Aeriennes (The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster, 1987, p 20). The Russian Mountains (Les Montagnes Russes) in 1804 was “apparently…both … Expand

Regency Hot Spots: Exeter ‘Change


  In the Strand the Exeter (Ex)Change was built around 1690 “as a sort of bazaar” which “(l)ike countless other imitations…proved a failure” (London society, Volume 6, 1834, p. 509) Over the years, it held various shops and offices including milliners and upholsterers, until the upper story was “occupied as a menagerie” where beginning in 1773 “the sight-lover had to pay half a crown to … Expand