Blackfriars Tube | Map
Guided by Barry
"Bring out your dead." That harrowing London refrain. Up one street and down the next that cry was heard here, endlessly, in 1665, the year of the Great Plague. But in the London Mortality League Tables, 1665, as horrific, as nightmarish as it was, comes a poor second. The Black Death, three centuries earlier, was the single most lethal catastrophe to hit Europe, let alone London. And those are just the Everest and K9 of Diseased London. For centuries this city was so unhealthy its population could only be sustained by a constant influx of new blood from the country. This walk – guided by a London Public Health Physician (were ever guide and city and theme better matched?) – explores the whole range of London's medical Himalayas. It's a story of the horrors of London's past medical practices. And of hard-won advances. It's a tale of doctors, dissections and resurrection men, of surgeons as sawbones and barbers and their crude amputations without the aid of anaesthetics or disinfectants. It's a pitiful, putrid parade of poisons and placebos and faith healers and quacks. It's short lives and the long art. It's proddings and pokings and experimentation. It's laboratories and therapies and famous London hospitals and famous London doctors and infamous London diseases. It's microbes and science and urbanisation and politics (some of them sexual) and the sociology of medicine. It's the sobering thought – one among many – that bubonic plague is not extinct, it merely lies dormant.
Doctors' London – Pox & Plague, Leeches & Quacks takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, February 17. Meet Dr Barry just outside the exit of BlackfriarsTube.
"Even jaded Londoners find these London Walks a source of astonishing gems of information about the city in which they live." Daily Mail, Top London Treats
"by far the most impressive series of walks that I have ever encountered are those offered by London Walks" Travel & Enjoy
"Best Tourism Experience in London" Gold Medal Winner, Visit London
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Doctors' London walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Doctors' London Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Noel on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk is good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group. And the clincher: a private London Walk makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.
A private London Walk makes a very special (and unusual) gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.