Country Life

London in lockdown

THERE is nowhere in Britain that has been so intensively redeveloped on such a grand scale and over such a long period as the square mile of the City. Even now, in this moment of national crisis, construction within its densely developed streets continues. The present lockdown, however, has removed all the other usual bustle and activity.

It’s not that the City is empty—there are people, cyclists and buses still—but it feels subdued even by the standards of a weekend and, between pulses of activity, there are moments of complete peace. In that calm, its monumental architecture speaks more forcefully than ever. With the pavements and thoroughfares empty, it’s possible to examine buildings or to stride into the

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