January 23, 2008

LEG Soho with Andy Duncan

One of the first stops was St Anne's Churchyard. The original Soho parish church was built 1677-1685 and has been rebuilt several times. There are over 100,000 people buried in the small area around the church. In 1853, the Burials Acts forbade further internments but the ashes of author Dorothy L Sayers (she was the 1952-57 churchwarden) are buried beneath SP Cockerell's 1803 tower, the only part of the church to survive the Blitz.

Andy explained that the Soho leases were for 49 years (vs the more typical 99 years) and so much of Soho was rebuilt by the 1720-1730s.

The House of St. Barnabas, a women's shelter charity, is a Grade I listed building with fabulous interiors. Soho has many, many blue plaques. Karl Marx and his family lived in 2 rooms in what is now a Grade I listed building with a "Quo Vadis" sign out front.

In 1854, the physician John Snow proved that cholera came from water (not the air as most thought). He plotted the location of cholera cases he was treating and thought that a great many of his patients drank water from a pump on Broad(wick) Street. He broke off the handle of that pump and the number of cholera cases diminished. A replica of that pump, without handle, commemorates this discovery.

By the mid-1800s, all of the respectable familes had moved out and the French Huguenots, artisans, and other groups that make up the character of Soho moved in. When the clock strikes 1, Karl Marx takes a swig of cola on this colorful Carnaby Street mural.

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