Category Britain’s history

Strawberry Hill

“It is a plaything house…….and it is the prettiest bauble you ever saw.” Horace Walpole, June 1747 Walpole was the dilettante son of Britain’s first Prime Minister and author of the first horror novel, The Castle of Otranto. Horace Walpole took a lease on a small 17th century cottage with 5 acres in Twickenham a […]


Not far from where I live is Clubland. No, I don’t mean the Ministry of Sound, but that is pretty close by too. Maybe the historians among you are already making connections. The church is where William Booth used to worship when he was working in a pawnbrokers on the Walworth Road. The same William […]

St Paul’s Cathedral, More Than a dome

Today the cameras are going to be trained on London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, and one building in particular will be in the limelight; St Paul’s, London’s cathedral, known especially for its iconic dome. I suspect attention will be more on those in the congregation than the building, but maybe some of those watching will […]

Walworth Old Town Hall Three Days After the Fire

When I hopped off the bus at lunch time on Thursday and dug my little Olympus out of my pocket to take some photos of the Old Town Hall I didn’t expect to cry, but that’s what I did. I was biting my lip, looking at the ruined roof, the sky visible through the shocked […]

Two British Icons Closed Forever

  Two icons of Btitish life closed their doors yesterday (March 22) amid mixed emotions. BBC’s purpose built Television Centre, opened in 1960, was serenaded out by Brit pop group Madness. The Grade II listed architectural jewel, wich has been home to the Monty Python team and Dr Who, amongst myriad well-loved television series,  is […]

Sculpture at Canterbury Cathedral

On Sunday we had a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, and despite the fact here was a service on (in the Quire) we were free to roam around the rest of the Cathedral  – and so we did, though that felt a little strange to me. I’m not religious, but I respect those who are and […]

Architectural Royalty: the Gilbert Scotts

It’s instantly recognisable, a British icon. One of those things at the start of a fim to tell you where you are. One of them, though not this one, had a starring rôle in that most gently funny film, Local Hero. But what links it to another British icon, the Palace of Westminster?

Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire

Front view Rear view Sudbury Hall, built by George Vernon in the reign of Charles II, is predominately Jacobean, yet the carved stone, wood, and plasterwork are in the elaborately decorated classical style. Vernon favoured the stone mullion and transom windows, but it is unusual to see circular and oval sections forming part of this […]

They’re going to declare him Richard III….

The remains of a body found beneath a Leicester car park will be confirmed as Richard III – even if DNA tests do not prove conclusive, a source close to the dig has told The Telegraph in Britain. The excavation, which took place in August of this year uncovered overwhelming evidence that this was Richard […]

Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1

Home and warm. I have led three London Walks this weekend; two from the main programme and one of my own from the repertory. I was early in Westminster yesterday morning so strolled and took some pictures. St John’s Smith Square is a well known well loved music venue. Originally a church, it was gutted […]