London walks and tours. St Paul's Cathedral. Sir Christopher Wren.
Return to the top of the steps outside Temple Court; looking to your left you’ll enjoy a fine view of St Paul’s Cathedral. You can see a phone box to your left on the other side of the traffic lights. Make your way over Queen Victoria Street and head towards the phone box. Proceed along Watling Street (passing the statue of the cordwainer, or shoemaker) and on your left you will come to:-
Ye Olde Watling. This rambling old pub was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1666 and was, reputedly, constructed with wood taken from dismantled ships timbers.
Cross Watling Street and keep ahead along Bow Lane, a charming little pedestrian thoroughfare reminiscent of the medieval age.
Before the 16th century this lane was known as Cordwainers Street, after the shoemakers and leather workers who lived and traded here.
Half way along Bow Lane, turn left into Groveland Court where on the left you will find:-
Williamson’s Tavern. In the 17th century this was the site of the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London. Prior to that it had been the site of the residence of Sir John Oldcastle, upon whom Shakespeare is said to have based the character of Falstaff. The wrought iron gates at the far end of the courtyard were presented to the then Lord Mayor by William 111 (1650-1702) and Mary 11 (1662-94) during a visit they made to the City of London.