London – The Adelphi

Retracing your steps up Buckingham Street, turn to the right along Duke Street and John Street, and you will find yourself in the Adelphi, that oasis of calm quiet so near the roar of the bustling Strand, where famous authors of the present day like to pitch their luxurious tents. Note the steep hill up which you climb. This is the roof of the arches which the brothers Adam built over the site of old Durham House in order that they might erect their elegant houses on a level with the Strand. You can still wander in these vaults, if you are lucky enough to find an open gate; they are curious, and were once a fine rendezvous for evil characters.

The Duke of Buckingham’s names are not the only ones to be perpetuated here. The architects, Robert, John, James and William Adam, all had streets named after them, and they called the whole quarter the Adelphi because they were brothers.

William Street has lately been rechristened Durham House Street, to remind us that the Adelphi was built on the site of Durham House, where Lady Jane Grey was born.

Probably the Adelphi will have to go some day, when a proper bridge for Charing Cross is built across the river here, but lovers of this little bit of unspoiled Georgian London will miss its old-world charm and dignity.