The arrival of photography in London in 1839 would change the way people saw their city, and each other, forever. Quite suddenly it was possible to see life captured 'in the flesh', rather than as an artist's sketch or painting. The new medium was embraced as a means of recording the progress of grand engineering projects and revealing the shocking poverty that haunted the capital's poorer districts.
The collections at London Metropolitan Archives contain an extraordinary range of photographs from Queen Victoria's reign, recording the city and its people in stunning detail. Whether in carefully posed studio portraits or images of people gathered in the street, it seems that almost everyone wanted to be recorded on camera. This gallery delves into these collections to present some of most striking images of the era; from London's first tube line to the opening of Blackwall Tunnel at the end of the century, taking in the Crystal Palace, portraits of actors and the harsh realities of life on the city's streets.
This gallery was inspired by 'Victorian London in Photographs', a 2015 exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives.