Dead cities

Reading about a disturbance at Brookwood on the news. Then, I went to get lunch. The building over the road has been completely gutted, ready for development. Dead buildings rise again very quickly; in a couple of months it’ll be something completely new. People are more difficult to bring back.

But then again, London is built on dead architecture – layers of the stuff, running all the way back to the Romans and beyond. There’s a layer of ash half an inch deep that Boudicca left behind, when the city first burned; the remains of a temple to Mithras half exposed at Temple Court; street names in Fulham referencing a spring where Belenos was worshipped, 2,500 years ago.

Roman London, Celtic London, Medieval London; all buried, unreclaimable. Maybe it’s the redeveloped buildings that are anomalous, awkwardly reborn where all the rest have fallen away?

Glad I’m cycling home tonight, it’s a hot, sticky day. Just saw Chris Billett, he’s getting even twitchier about his sirens.

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