The Speakers Corner, located in a corner of Park Lane and the Cumberland Gate is almost certainly the most democratic and high ranking Open Air University in the world. Amazingly, the site where the present day Speaker’s Corner is located used to be a place of execution and in the days of yore and was referred to as “Tyburn”.
Playground of the Historical Greats
Undoubtedly, Speaker’s Corner has greater appeal than some of the leading universities like Oxford and Cambridge. There is no entry fee, no academic formality and significantly no exclusivity.
If we look back to the history of Speaker’s Corner, we get to know that in the days of yore, great statesman of the stature of Karl Marx, Lenin and Fredrick Engels used to be regulars at Speaker’s Corner.
Presence of the Common Man
As a tourist, the best time to visit Speaker’s Corner is Sundays and the reason why one should visit this place is because of the fact that as a tourist you will not be permitted to attend any lectures at universities like Oxford and Cambridge. However, at the Speaker’s Corner, not only is their freedom of speech but also chances are that on any given Sunday you are likely to find a few intellectual giants not only from London but from elsewhere in the world. Over the years, Speaker’s Corner has emerged as one of Britain’s most prominent places for open debate and dialogue. It is the torchbearer of Britain’s tradition of laissez-faire and tolerant democracy.
A famous place for Speakers and Listeners
The very mention of Speaker’s Corner conjures up images of street-smart orators addressing large gathering of crowds and onlookers on Sunday afternoons. Subjects range from International politics to morality and religious issues. Anyone can become an orator. Someone with no experience in public speaking too can make his mark at Speaker’s Corner if his or her subject is interesting and rational. Of course, during debates, there is a lot of shouting and commotion as well and for a while the whole affair seems to be comical.
Democracy at its Best
As you move from one congregation to the next, you will be amazed to hear discussions ranging from the Gulf war to London’s Victorian architecture. To fully appreciate the ambiance of Speaker’s Corner, you need to shed your inhibitions. At first glimpse, you might think the speakers are mentally unbalanced, which is not true at all. Some of the century’s most revered politicians and scholars have used the Speaker’s Corner platform to hone their oratorical skills to perfection. Speaker’s Corner is democracy at its best.
Should you plan to visit the Speaker’s Corner, here’s a location map of the Hyde Park
Photo by gruntzooki
Also Read England major attractions: Stonehenge, British Museum, Big Ben London, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, Millennium Bridge, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, London Zoo, Trafalgar Square, Palace of Westminster, Kensington Palace, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Nelson’s Column, Wellington Arch.Published On: Monday, June 24th, 2013