Hays Galleria, on the south bank of the River Thames in London, was built in 1856 by Sir William Cubitt, and named after the owner of the Hays Wharf Company, Alexander Hay. It was in use as a working dock, filled with water, for more than 100 years but became redundant after the Second World War, when trade declined rapidly and the area became economically depressed. However in 1987 the building was refurbished to provide office accommodation and retail space – and is now a much-loved feature of the area. The Galleria features a fascinating mechanical sculpture. The Navigators, by David Kemp, was unveiled in 1987 shortly after the building was opened, and commemorates the Galleria’s maritime heritage. Part ship, part sea monster, the sculpture amusingly appears to ‘break wind’ every few minutes, providing perfect entertainment for children accompanying their parents on shopping exhibitions!
Find out more about Hays Galleria on our London Bridge tour. Click here for more information