Two dockside buildings, both of them famous film locations - but one's a hit and the other's a turkey.
Both my wonder and my blunder are in great English ports.
The blunder is on the edge of St Katharine's Dock, which was the first purpose-built dock in London. It's the Tower Hotel, a building of uncompromising horror and ugliness. Not only does it overwhelm the world-famous structures of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London but it overshadows the beautiful St Katharine's Dock itself, in particular the elegant Dock Master's House. It is of such an alien design and materials that it should never have been built.
My wonder is a building built in another very early dock, this time in 17th-century King's Lynn. This is the King's Lynn Customs House designed by the gentleman architect Henry Bell. It is sited in the middle of possibly the most beautiful of all English market towns, and one that was once a hugely successful port. the Customs House with its honey stone walls, its white cupola and its statue of Charles II is, for me, one of the most charming and quintessentially English buildings.
Simon Thurley has been the chief executive of English Heritage since 2002 and is a world authority on the palaces of the Tudor and Stuart kings