Sick City

'Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be', wrote Jane Austen in Emma. Join Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow Dr Richard Barnett and friends for a gut-wrenching, brain-teasing, eye-opening take on the sick city.

Featuring narration from Richard and images from the Wellcome Library's collection, Sick City Walks tells the story of life and death, health and sickness in London. From the healing wells of the Fleet valley to the gin-fuelled excesses of Enlightenment Soho and the roots of the NHS, these walks reveal twenty centuries of London life in all its gory, moving, inspiring intricacy.

To use the Sick City Walks app, all you need is a smartphone or a tablet with web access, a pair of headphones, and a couple of hours free for each walk. Each walk will use approximately 20-30MB of data, if you listen to all the audio at every stop. Click on the links below to find out more about each walk. We'll be adding new walks regularly, and planning tours in other cities - so watch this space.

Tall Ships & Tropical Diseases (Greenwich)

Greenwich, the ‘green port’, is London at its most graceful. Quirks of geography – the sublime, sheltering curve of Greenwich Hill, the flat riverside terrace, the power and depth of the river at this point – made it a perfect place for a maritime settlement. And its distance from the medieval city made Greenwich a haven for aristocrats and merchants seeking to escape from London’s squalor and delinquency: for centuries this isolated village was home to palaces, mansions and monasteries. But as Britain extended her global reach through trade, conquest and exploration, and as the city grew outwards, so Greenwich took on a new role as London’s window on the world, the oracle of global time and a notorious hotspot for spies, saboteurs and pleasure-seekers. Join us for a walk around this exotic entrepot – half port, half palace – and get a rare breath of London’s historic sea air.


Tap ‘View Map’ to see the route and stops. Tapping the numbered syringes on the map will take you to each stop. Once you’re ready to go to the next stop, tap ‘Back’ at the top of the screen to return to the map. If you want to jump straight to a particular stop, use the links below ‘View Map’. 


Distance: 2.3 miles / 3.8 km


Start / end: Cutty Sark DLR station

 


Sensational Bodies (Holborn / City)

If Leonardo da Vinci could have chosen to work in another time and place, he might well have picked eighteenth-century London. Two centuries after he had completed his remarkable anatomical studies, this city was the most advanced and exciting centre of anatomical discovery in the world. But as we’ll discover, anatomy was never just the private pursuit of physicians and surgeons. This was science conducted in the public gaze, and artists, aristocrats and the thrill-seeking demi-monde flocked to witness dissections, operations and lectures by the stars of the day. Join us for an unforgettable journey into the heart (and other organs) of Enlightenment London.

This walk has been written in association with the Queen's Gallery summer 2012 exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist'.

Tap ‘View Map’ to see the route and stops. Tapping the numbered syringes on the map will take you to each stop. Once you’re ready to go to the next stop, tap ‘Back’ at the top of the screen to return to the map. If you want to jump straight to a particular stop, use the links below ‘View Map’.

Distance: 1.8 miles / 2.9 kilometres

Start: Lincoln’s Inn Fields (nearest tube is Holborn)

End: St Bartholomew’s Hospital (nearest tubes are Farringdon / Barbican / St Paul’s)


Liquid History (Kings Cross / City)

London has many lost rivers, but the greatest of them all is the mighty Fleet – a prehistoric tributary, a Roman trade route, a medieval moat, an eighteenth-century eyesore and a Victorian sewer. Join us as we paddle – metaphorically – in the Fleet’s lower reaches, exploring the experiences of those who have lived and died beside it over two thousand years. 

Tap 'View Map' to see the route and stops. Tapping the numbered syringes on the map will take you to each stop. Once you're ready to go to the next stop, tap 'Back' at the top of the screen to return to the map. If you want to jump straight to a particular stop, use the links below 'View Map'.

Distance: 2.5 miles / 4 kilometres

Start: Argyle Square, WC1H (nearest tube is Kings Cross)

End: Riverside path underneath Blackfriars Bridge, EC4Y (nearest tubes are Blackfriars / St Paul's / Temple)