An immersive walk through 600 years of bribery, gossip and booze on Fleet Street led by London historian Dr Matthew Green with broadside ballad singers, drunken hacks and psychopathic media tycoons hidden along the way. As recommended by the Guardian.
- Read the Guardian's review of the tour here.
In 1495, an eccentric octopus-loving Walloon called Wynkyn de Worde set up a cranky printing press at the sign of the creaking sun in St Bride’s Churchyard. 250 years later, Fleet Street had blossomed into the nerve-centre of the world's biggest and most influential mass media, churning out hundreds of newspapers each week. By the 20th century, every major UK newspaper had its headquarters on Fleet Street. And its ancient taverns were packed with impoverished hack writers and inkies.
Fleet Street came to be associated with knowledge, enlightenment, and democracy. It has been hailed as the "Palladium of English Liberty".
But today, Fleet Street is a ghost of its former self. Not a single newspaper operates from the vicinity any longer. The thumping, hammering and squelching of printing presses has been replaced by the sound of urban ennui. But you can relive it all, just for a day.
Featuring Stationers’ Hall, the medieval centre of printing, and finishing with a pint in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, this musical, dramatised tour will take you through 600 years of bribery, gossip, and booze on the Street of Ink. You'll meet the ghosts of Fleet Street denizens including Samuel Johnson, Hodge the Cat, Daniel Defoe, Kitty Fisher, the Rhinoceros of Ludgate Hill and perhaps even Rebekah Brooke being tried at the Old Bailey. Sweeney Todd will not be appearing in this tour.
From Unreal City Audio as recommended by the Guardian, Telegraph, BBC, and Culture Critic. The tour lasts around 2hrs. The perfect way to kick-start your Thursday night.
- Read Dr Green's Telegraph article on the dark history of Fleet Street here.
MORE ABOUT YOUR TEACHER…
Dr Matthew Green is the author of the acclaimed book London: A Travel Guide Through Time, which has been described by William Hague as ‘an excellent and vivid work of history’ and Liza Picard as ‘a must for anyone interested in London’s history’. Matthew also writes historical features for theGuardian, Telegraph and Financial Times among others, and has featured in many TV and Radio documentaries. He’s the founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive, critically acclaimed tours of historic London.
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Contact Unreal City Audio (www.unrealcityaudio.co.uk)