Peek behind London’s secret Ring of Steel

A photography exhibition will take visitors around London’s Ring of Steel this weekend and provide an insight into how private security, CCTV and metal bollards have changed the look of east and central London.

At Hanbury Hall near the Old Spitalfields Market, the Entering The Panopticon exhibition will show how 6.5 miles of obstructions such as CCTV cameras and police boxes have been built around the City of London in the last 17 years.

The covert security ring, which stretches from Shoreditch in east London to the Temple in the west, allows police officers to photograph anyone entering the City and was prompted by the 1993 IRA Bishopsgate bombing.

Photographer Henrietta Williams and cartographer George Gingell set out to uncover, map and photograph the variety of measures taken to combat the terrorist threat, including closed roads and permanent barriers.

Ms Williams, 28, said: “Once you start looking, it’s all very easy to find.

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“I was interested in how the architecture of London has changed and how there are now parts of London where the primary concern is defence.”

The exhibition runs from October 22 to 24 at Hanbury Hall in Hanbury Street as part of the This Is Not A Gateway festival.

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