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”
For those interested and willing to deviate slightly from the average tourist’s beaten path London is full of curiosities worthy a little of their time.
One of these curiosities, often referred to as London’s smallest public sculpture, is a couple of mice fighting over, or sharing depending on your perspective, a piece of cheese. Continue reading “Having a Nibble in Philpot Lane”
On a small traffic island, coinciding the centre of the old Charing village, to the south of Trafalgar Square stands the oft times missed equestrian statue of King Charles I. Missed as people hurry to the famous square for that all-important selfie with a lion or scurry past in search of the touristic delights of Whitehall and Westminster. Continue reading “Charles I Takes Centre Stage”
At around 2pm on 30 January, 1649 one of the most extraordinary things to ever happen in Britain happened. The reigning king was executed and, more than this, the British monarchy ended as a Bill had been hastily pushed through Parliament such that no one else could succeed Charles I to the throne. Continue reading “The Demise And Rebirth Of The British Monarchy”
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”
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”
One might be forgiven for thinking that this construction, on the southeast corner of Trafalgar Square, was an ornamental light. Indeed it was exactly that when it was constructed in the 19th century. Various sources cite that the light came from Nelson’s HMS Victory. That is pure legend. Continue reading “Keeping An Eye On The Peasants In Trafalgar Square”
I 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’”
This 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’”
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’”