Indigenous London: Covent Garden to Westminster

A tour of sites associated with Indigenous visitors to London over time. Made in collaboration with Coll Thrush, based on his book Indigenous London. Compiled and augmented by David Stirrup for Beyond the Spectacle.

Indigenous London: Covent Garden to Westminster

England E1 6FQ, United Kingdom

Created By: Beyond the Spectacle

Tour Information

This is a 90minute-2hour walk from Covent Garden Tube Station to Westminster Bridge. Along the way it takes in a number of sites associated with Indigenous visitors to London from the US and Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. It is based on Coll Thrush's Indigenous London (Yale University Press, 2016) and was put together by David Stirrup in collaboration with Coll for Beyond the Spectacle.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

This is the start of your tour. Turn right out of the station onto Long Acre. Follow it until Bow Street, and turn right. Continue until you see the Royal Opera House on the right. 
Here we are in the heart of the old theater district; the Royal Opera House has existed here since 1732. Many Indigenous visitors attended plays at places like the Royal; here, for example, Bennelong, the Eora man from Australia, came to se... Read more
The Theatre Royal in Drury Lane is one of the oldest theatres in London, and like many of the other major entertainment venues in this neighborhood, it saw Indigenous audience members. The Theatre Royal is where a near-riot broke out during... Read more
Two years after the Four Kings left London, there was an outbreak of gang violence in the area around Covent Garden Market. Men were assaulted, women were attacked, noses were cut, and people were put into barrels and rolled down streets. T... Read more
After lying in state at the Adelphi, the coffins of Liholiho and Kamamalu, King and Queen of Hawai'i, were placed in the Crypt here. The pair had travelled to Britain in 1824 to visit King George IV, where they attended many of the places w... Read more
Across from St. Martin is the National Gallery, and in front of it stands a statue of a man on a horse--George IV himself. The massive columns at the front of the Gallery were scavenged from his home, the palatial Pal Mall residence built w... Read more
The building on the other side of Trafalgar Square is is the Canadian High Commission. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, officials have consistently worked against the efforts of Indigenous Canadian activists who travelled ... Read more
Empire has everything to do with naming. Names like Boston, Salem, New York, Nova Scotia, and countless others are not without meaning; they are the transposition of British places onto territories that were imagined deserving of colonial t... Read more
Sir Walter Raleigh's Durham House is long gone, but its name remains, along with those of other great houses that once stood along the Strand. This is where, in the late sixteenth century, Thomas Harriot and Manteo (and possibly Wanchese an... Read more
Retrace your steps to Villiers Street and turn left. Partway down the hill, enter The Arches shopping arcade on the right and walk through the arcade until you emerge into Craven Street. Craven Street is where an unnamed eleven-year-old Oda... Read more
Take Craven Street to the left to Northumberland Avenue. Cross the avenue and enter Whitehall Gardens, continuing on the length of the gardens until Horseguards Avenue, where you should turn right and keep walking. Walking up this hill, it... Read more
To the right, you can see the masts and rigging of the Admiralty on top of the building. The Admiralty is the entity that oversaw the explorations of Captain James Cook. From this place emanated scientific discovery, imperial competition, a... Read more
Westminster Abbey was a common destination for many Indigenous travellers, who each had their own distinct responses to the imposing space full of the dead. Liholiho and Kamamalu chose not to enter it, for example, since the dead there were... Read more
Westminster Palace, one of the oldest structures in London, is also the site of Indigenous London’s beginnings; it is where three men, likely Inuit (although also claimed variously as Beothuk or Mik’maw), appeared in 1501 or 1502. Broug... Read more
From Westminster Bridge, look back for the best view of The Houses of Parliament, a common destination for Indigenous visitors, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One of the most notable visits included that of Hongi Hik... Read more


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