The Sundial Pillar was unveiled by HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands - in June 1989 as the finalé of the 1988/9 William & Mary Tercentenary and has become an iconic London landmark. It was the first project of its kind in London since Nelson’s Column in the 1840’s and took five years of meticulous planning by the Trust.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lord Peter Brooke - Peter was one of our patrons and a great supporter of the Trust and our work over many years.
Trust chairman David Bieda recalls: “When he [Peter Brooke] retired as an MP I held a dinner for him in Dean Street [David's residence, a masterpiece of early Georgian architecture]. I remember asking Peter if I should invite Frank Dobson MP and he said ‘Don’t do it without Frank as we’ve worked behind the scenes for years’. One of the most civilised politicians of his generation, a great raconteur, immensely knowledgeable and a very good constituency MP. He also initiated the N. Ireland peace process.”
In the latter part of last year, Camden published draft proposals for works to Neal Street, Earlham Street (W) and Monmouth Street and invited responses from the public. This consultation ended on 16th December but the proposals can still be seen here. The Trust is concerned by several aspects of the proposals.
For several years now, the Trust has been working on updating its comprehensive study of the area, The Seven Dials Renaissance Study, first published in 1991. Designed to provide a national exemplar of how to care for inner city conservation areas, the study takes an holistic approach, providing a detailed framework for the total environment.
The Trust was commissioned by the Mercers’ Company to provide façade brackets for their festoon lighting in Neal Street. These elegant wall brackets are a smaller version of the wall brackets designed by trustee Paul Draper for our façade lanterns and thus match them.
Camden have retrofitted the 51 Phase One lanterns in Seven Dials with our specially designed Zeta LED within a ‘sugar bowl’ thus harnessing both current and 19c technology to maximise the light spread and greatly reducing both carbon emissions and energy needs. Many thanks to Shaftesbury Plc for funding this project.
For many years Paul and his partner, the artist Emanuele Gori, have spent part of the summer in Tropea in southern Italy. Tropea is built on a rock formation of cliffs with many buildings dating back centuries. Paul has been given the Freedom of the Municipality of Tropea for his extraordinary drawing.
After a long delay due to the Pandemic we have installed the latest sponsored People’s Plaques. Further information will follow when various delayed unveilings take place. If you are interested in sponsoring, or know someone who may be interested in sponsoring a plaque have a look at our brochure: Download the People’s Plaques Project Brochure.
The Trust has worked with Camden, Shaftesbury Plc and the Covent Garden Community Association on major improvements to the end of Shaftesbury Avenue where it meets Neal Street. This is one of the key gateways into Seven Dials.
The Golden Hind (more specifically a wounded female deer) is the symbol of the ancient Parish of St Giles-in-the-Fields. The Seven Dials Trust has used it, in a circle representing the Dials, as a motif on all street furniture.