In 1710, meanwhile, construction finished on the esteemed architect Christopher Wren’s crowning glory, St. Paul’s Cathedral. The magnificent structure still stands today, and came to fruition at a time of major growth for London. Indeed, the 18th century saw not only wide-sweeping political change for London and Great Britain, but physical growth for the capital, too.
The city’s limits pushed outward in all directions. Towards the west, brand new neighborhoods sprung up for the wealthy populace, including Mayfair. Elsewhere, South London became more accessible thanks to the opening of new bridges across the Thames and an expanding Port of London pulled the East End even further out.
Local businesses naturally enjoyed the fruits of this accelerated growth. Coffee houses were a staple of the period, for instance, earning a reputation as gathering spots to discuss ideas. But set amid the backdrop of this economic boom was a burgeoning class divide, which only grew wider as the years went on.