The Tower 15
Photographer: Coburn, Alvin Langdon (1882-1966)
Medium: Photographic print
"The accident of of English political development - a wealthy oligarchy slowly established upon the Reformation, spending the ancient endowment of religion, and welding the nation into a perfect homogeneity within the security of an island - has spared London and other English cities the necessity of defence. Save for one passing moment during the Civil Wars - a crisis which had no lasting military effect - London has, since the Middle Ages, ahd no necessity for fortifications. Cities which have it in their whole tradition to live within a wall and a military ring of defence, expand as a tree expands, outward, in circles...But if a city be not so bound, communications will naturally determine its development, and especially the main lines of communication. Men will build first along the great roads leading outwards, and it is this plan which is followed in the increase of nearly every modern city where the tradition of civilisation is commercial rather than military."
Text by Hilaire Belloc from the book 'London'