From spires to skyscrapers: Changing face of London's skyline revealed in pictures from Victorian times and the present day
18:32 GMT, 6 December 2012
These arresting images reveal the dizzying rate at which London has changed in the last century.
In a new book comparing Victorian London to modern day life in the capital, cityscape photographer Laina Watt, 33, juxtaposes the black and white prints with today's images.
‘Central London: Then and Now' shows just how the church spire-dominated skyline shown
in the Victorian sepia prints has since given way to the glass skyscraper-filled scene of today.
Famous landmarks featured include: Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace and St Paul's.
A view of East London in 1900 looking towards Tower Bridge. Note how the horizon is clearly visible and compare that to today's view below
Only Tower Bridge remains recognisable as flat-roofed office blocks dominate today's skyline
A view of The Strand seen in 1894 in London, with top hats 'de rigeur' for male pedestrians and horse and carriage the only means of transport
And how it looks now: Buses and taxis replace horse and carriage on London's Strand. And the sky's pretty blue too.
But some historical London locations
have barely changed, with Buckingham Palace still looking identical to
that taken in the late 1920.
Ms Watt, who studied and lived in London for four years before moving to Sussex, spent nine months completing the series.
who has been capturing London’s landmarks for 10 years, said: 'I wanted
to show the way the city has evolved over the past century.
'It was very difficult to find the exact locations from where some of the older images were taken because things had changed so radically.
'The Blitz destroyed big parts of London, so some areas are very different.
'The shot from the top of the monument shows how the church spires of old London has given way to modern life. It is only St Paul’s spire which is recognisable in the modern image.'
Laina, who runs a business
selling prints of London’s skyline to offices, says she was frequently
asked for old pictures of London by clients, leading her to produce the
She added: 'Having
looked at the old images before heading to the location, it was pretty
striking immediately how different things now look.
'Metal and glass office buildings are now in the way of the view.'
A view of Buckingham Palace taken in 1920, during King George V's reign
Buckingham Palace represents one part of London that hasn't changed over the years, except for a few more flower beds… and heightened security
A view from Tower Bridge in 1890 revealing just how prominent the Tower of London was on the capital's skyline
Looking out from Tower Bridge today, the Tower of London on the banks of the Thames is dwarfed by the city's skyscrapers, including the Gherkin, in the background
An 1890s view from Monument looking towards St Paul's Cathedral in London
Today's view from Monument with cranes and skyscrapers dwarfing the once gigantic St Paul's
Fleet Street in 1890 – home to the nation's newspapers and that great barber, Sweeney Todd
The present day view of Fleet Street which is no longer home to the country's newspapers and journalists
The front cover of photographer Laina Watt's book Central London: Then and Now