See a Camel Caravan on Eastcheap

Having admired what is reputedly London’s smallest sculpture of two mice duelling over a piece of cheese on Philpot Lane, literally cross Eastcheap to admire what to-day seems a somewhat out of place relief on the circular corner tower of No 20 Eastcheap. Continue reading “See a Camel Caravan on Eastcheap”


Banqueting House – A House of Indulgence


When Cardinal Wolsey fell out of favour with King Henry VIII in 1530 he lost his Thames-side abode, then called York Palace, to Henry. While far from a slum, Henry set about turning Wolsey’s Palace (which he renamed Whitehall) into a place fit for a king and within a short time it was the grandest and most ostentatious palace in Europe. The Banqueting House we see today (added in 1619) was but one of the many buildings within the Palace confines. Continue reading “Banqueting House – A House of Indulgence”

Monty Python’s Foot


Hanging alongside works by Michelangelo and Raphael in Room 8 (Jan 2018) of the National Gallery in London is the beautiful medieval Mannerist masterpiece by Bronzino depicted below.

The picture entitled Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time or An Allegory with Venus and Cupid was painted for King Frances I of France in the mid-1500s and depicts Cupid kissing his mother Venus. Continue reading “Monty Python’s Foot”

Edith Cavell – A ‘Glorious Specimen Of Womanhood’

52I have passed by this memorial, just off the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square and across the road from the National Portrait Gallery, many times without even noticing it much less pausing to see that it is in memory of Edith Louisa Cavell, a British civilian nurse in World War I, who was executed by a German firing squad for helping Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. Continue reading “Edith Cavell – A ‘Glorious Specimen Of Womanhood’”

‘A Conversation With Oscar Wilde’

45This rather unorthodox memorial and tribute to a rather unorthodox man was unveiled on 30 November 1998 by Stephen Fry, who played Oscar Wilde in the 1997 film “Wilde”.

Entitled  ‘A Conversation with Oscar Wilde’ the memorial, in the form of a green granite sarcophagus and designed as a seat, depicts Oscar Wilde, one of the most brilliant and flamboyant literary figures in late Victoria London, emerging from his afterlife, cigarette (when it has not been stolen) in hand, ready to share his renowned wit and views on anything and everything with whoever cares to sit down and have a chat. Continue reading “‘A Conversation With Oscar Wilde’”

Goodwin’s Court – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’


Wandering through gas-lit Goodwin’s Court, a delightful 17th century alley-way connecting St Martins Lane (No 55-56) and Bedfordbury (No 23-24) I could easily imagine it shrouded in one of London’s famous fogs and my steps being traced by a deerstalker-clad detective from the pages of Conan Doyle. Continue reading “Goodwin’s Court – ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’”