I, history geek

Gresham College: free public lectures

Gresham College: a veritable treasure trove for the wandering geek


Every Tuesday, on the way to my choir rehearsal, usually late, I hurry past a very intriguing looking sign, pointing to a pleasingly old-looking building, sandwiched slightly less pleasingly just between a Sainsbury’s, a pub and a McDonald’s, advertising lectures and talks at ‘Gresham College‘. The use of the word ‘college’ always alerts my attention in such contexts, as I wonder whether this may have anything to do with my University days – and while in this case the answer appears to be no (founded in 1597, it has given free public lectures in the City of London for over 400 years, named after the son of a one-time Lord Mayor of London), I notice the place each and every time I rush past it – it looks old, but not too old, and interesting. As a History graduate and proud modern history geek, these two words together are usually enough to warm my cultural cockles. However, choir waits, and I walk on by, and forget Gresham College, and my piqued interest, time and time again.

Except, suddenly, last night, as I sat in a sleepy haze next to my computer after a long evening’s choir, the memory popped into my head. I approached the rehearsal venue from another direction yesterday, but the area evidently still reminds me of my hasty scurrying round commuters at bus stops and revellers outside the pub as I try to make it across several thousand pelican crossings without getting run over by the nearest bicycle or speeding cityboy. Suddenly I felt an urge to Google. ‘Lectures history London’ quickly brought me exactly what I was looking for.

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