Explore the City's Ancient Alleyways in the Footsteps of Charles Dickens

    29 Apr 2016
    Clock 30min      Length1mi
    17 ratings

    Royal Exchange

    Pay wave

    This is the Royal Exchange. Go up the steps and inside now, and continue straight through the hallway to emerge out the back end of the building. If you like, you can stop for an expensive cup of coffee in the company of high flying financiers on the way.

    This is the third Royal Exchange to be built. The previous two were destroyed by fire. On the top of the portico you can see Latin inscriptions stating that it was constructed in the 8th year of the reign of Queen Victoria.In Dickens's 'A Christmas Carol', it is on the steps of the Royal Exchange that Scrooge sees the Ghost of Christmas to come. Scrooge has given his name to the English language as meaning a cruel miser. In the story he treats his clerk, Bob Cratchett, almost like a slave. He then has visions of three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The first two take him to scenes reminding him of his misdeeds, but the third shows him men talking about a dead man. They decide he is mean, so it is not worth going to his funeral. Scrooge realises they are talking about him and finally repents.

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