Explore the history of behind the places on LSE’s campus – past and present.

  • Hammering out a new world – the Fabian Window at LSE

Hammering out a new world – the Fabian Window at LSE

On the 20 April 2006 Tony Blair unveiled the Fabian Window, newly installed in the Shaw Library on a long term loan by the Webb Memorial Trust. In 2017 thanks to the generosity of the Webb Memorial Trust, the window will become part of the School’s art collections. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about the window’s creation and its […]

  • Carr-Saunders Hall – living in Bloomsbury

Carr-Saunders Hall – living in Bloomsbury

On 13 June 1967 students, staff and guests sat down to a dinner of salmon, chicken, strawberries and cheese accompanied by Pouilly Fuissé 1964 and Chateauneuf du Pape 1962 to celebrate the opening of LSE’s second hall of residence. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly shares the story of the founding of Carr-Saunders Hall.

The development of the hall was far from […]

  • All is not as it seems – Square the Block by Richard Wilson

All is not as it seems – Square the Block by Richard Wilson

  • April 18th, 2017

Head to the junction of Kingsway and Sardinia Street. Look up! Sue Donnelly introduces Square the Block by Richard Wilson.

If you walk down Kingsway from Holborn Station to the Aldwych you may be slightly taken aback when you glance at the corner of the New Academic Building facing Sardinia Street and Kingsway. While the top of the building looks solid […]

  • Women in art – the Shaw Library

Women in art – the Shaw Library

  • March 22nd, 2017

This Women’s History Month, LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly takes a trip to the Shaw Library to find out more about some of the women who created or feature in LSE art works. The Shaw Library (once known as the Founders’ Room) opened in 1928 and today its art works represent significant figures in the history of the School.

Beatrice and Sidney Webb […]

  • Harry Warren Wilson and the St Clement’s building panel

Harry Warren Wilson and the St Clement’s building panel

Harry Warren Wilson designed the St Clement’s building panel which has overlooked Portugal Street since the 1960’s. Sue Donnelly, LSE Archivist, uncovers the controversy surrounding its creation.

In 1959 the School began work on the refurbishment of the St Clement’s Press building overlooking Clare Market, now known as the St Clement’s building. As part of the work the School commissioned the artist Harry […]

  • The LSE Penguin by Yolanda Vandergaast

The LSE Penguin by Yolanda Vandergaast

  • December 6th, 2016

Over the past 11 years the Penguin has become a much loved LSE character, happy to pose in a stream of graduation photographs whatever the London weather. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly shares the story behind the Penguin.

The Penguin, made of aluminium and just over a metre tall, was made by the Canadian sculptor, Yolanda Vandergaast. Vandergaast was born in […]

  • The Webb portrait

The Webb portrait

Featuring two of LSE’s founders, the Webb portrait hangs above the fireplace in the Shaw Library. Sue Donnelly tells the story of Sidney and Beatrice Webb at Passfield Corner by William Nicholson.

“In the present year Mr and Mrs Sidney Webb keep a joint seventieth birthday and it is proposed to celebrate this event by securing the painting of a […]

  • The world below – archaeology at LSE

The world below – archaeology at LSE

LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly writes about this Spring’s archaeological dig on Houghton Street at LSE.

London’s many building sites are the source of frequent disruption and irritation but they also provide opportunities to find out more about the history hidden beneath the buildings and streets. The preparatory works for the Centre Buildings Redevelopment was an opportunity to discover what lies […]

  • All work and no play – the early years of the LSE sports ground

All work and no play – the early years of the LSE sports ground

Sport at LSE has a long history, writes LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly, as is proved by the 1911 photograph of the first hockey team. But the acquisition of the Malden sports ground in 1921 encouraged sports of all kinds to flourish at LSE.

Under Director William Beveridge Houghton Street saw constant building, but LSE expansion also included the acquisition of […]

  • Tennis at LSE in the 1920s

Tennis at LSE in the 1920s

LSE’s sportsground opened in 1921 and among the many sports taking place at the new ground, in Malden, Surrey, was tennis. There was a tennis club and games took between staff and students. These images from the 1920s introduce tennis at LSE.

Tennis club, 1920:

Staff and student tennis, 1926 (William Beveridge (centre) on his left Vera Anstey, behind her Professor Arthur Sargent, to his […]

  • Football at LSE – in pictures

Football at LSE – in pictures

  • June 11th, 2016

These fantastic photos from the LSE Library Flickr site tell the story of football at LSE, 1930s-1980s. 

Students v Porters Football, 1936. There used to be a match every year between the porters and students for the ‘Blotto Cup’ which was an old tea caddy. There was a dance in the evening following the football:

The porters won the match. (Alan […]

  • Adelphi days – LSE’s first home

Adelphi days – LSE’s first home

  • October 14th, 2015

LSE’S early accommodation was modest but set the model for the School’s location in the heart of London – between the City, government and the law.

From 1895 to 1902 the School was based in the Adelphi, an area between the Strand and the Thames, developed between 1768-1774 by the Adam brothers – John, Robert, James and William. The development […]

  • Charlotte Shaw’s legacy – the Shaw Library

Charlotte Shaw’s legacy – the Shaw Library

The Founders’ Room, or as it is more popularly known the Shaw Library, is much loved by students and staff past and present as a place to read, snooze or eat your lunch but how did this quiet haven on the top of the Old Building come into existence?

The Founders’ Room

The sixth floor of the Old Building was completed […]

  • Vicars and Directors – the Anchorage

Vicars and Directors – the Anchorage

  • August 6th, 2015

Tucked away on Clement’s Inn Passage, the Anchorage was built in the early 1800s but only became part of LSE’s estate in 1970.

In the early twentieth century the property was bought by the Reverend William Pennington-Bickford, rector of St Clement Danes Church, becoming the vicarage. The front of the building bore a large cast iron anchor, the symbol of […]

  • The East Building and the changing face of Houghton Street

The East Building and the changing face of Houghton Street

Watch LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly share the secrets of Houghton Street, touring the East Building just before its closure and demolition, in The Changing Face of Houghton Street:

 

Read more about the East Building
“The last block of buildings I ever really expected to see”
So wrote William Beveridge in his Director’s Report for 1936-1937 reporting that work was about to start on the […]

  • Printing presses and science labs – the story of St Clement’s

Printing presses and science labs – the story of St Clement’s

For 60 years LSE shared Clare Market with two significant neighbours: the St Clement’s Press and the Government Laboratory. LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly investigates.

Government Laboratory

The government established the Government Laboratory in 1842. Based in the City of London the Laboratory’s initial role was guarding against the adulteration of tobacco and protecting the government’s revenue. Following the 1875 Sale of […]

  • Going high rise at Clare Market

Going high rise at Clare Market

  • July 1st, 2015

When Clare Market opened in 1968 it marked the culmination of an ambition, beginning with William Beveridge in the 1930s, to extend LSE along Houghton Street – an ambition that took over 30 years to come to fruition.

1930s – War service

In 1932 LSE took over the leases of both 17 Houghton Street, occupied by a bookshop, Messrs McLeish, and […]

  • Swingin’ 60s and rockin’ rock cakes

Swingin’ 60s and rockin’ rock cakes

  • June 18th, 2015

In the 1960s (before the Troubles), the School was known, among other things, for having “arguably the worst food north of the Thames.” At least that was the Sunday Observer’s characterisation of the daily fare dispensed on the third floor. Such judgments are always in the eye of the beholder and a matter of individual taste. But one thing the Refectory […]

  • A royal visit – laying the foundation stone of the Old Building

A royal visit – laying the foundation stone of the Old Building

  • May 27th, 2015

On 28 May 1920 George V and Queen Mary left Buckingham Palace in an open carriage escorted by the Life Guards. They were accompanied by Herbert Fisher, Minister for Education and as they approached St Clement Danes the church bells began to ring. Halting on Clare Market the royal party entered Passmore Edwards Hall as the Royal Standard was […]