Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Some more pictures of Canterbury Castle

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Canterbury Castle in Kent built as one of the earliest Norman castles in 1066. Originally a woodern castle it was replaced by the surviving stone structure between 1100 -1135. Its highpoint in history (or indeed its low point) was when it was captured and held by the invading French army in 1380.

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A plan of the interior

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A model of what it looked like in 1135

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The standing exterior wall

I haven’t been able to get out to photograph many monuments recently but here are some pictures of the London Troops Memorial near the Bank of England in the City of London.

It was originally unveiled in November 1920 as a memorial to the troops from the London regiments who had died during the 1st world war. An inscription was added after the end of the second world war to commemorate those in the London Regiments who had died in that conflict.

It stands outside the Royal Exchange near the Bank of England. In order for the memorial to be placed here the city corporation had to move a water fountain. The site they chose for the water fountain was already occupied by a statue of Sir Rowland Hill, founder of the modern postal system, which they then had to relocate.

A funny thing……

Posted: October 30, 2020 in Art, History
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I was surprised on Tuesday this week to receive an email from The Times newspaper asking permission to reproduce a photograph from this blog. I will be honest with you that I thought it was a windup or a scam. But I checked the email and it was from ‘@times.co.uk’, so it seemed genuine. I replied and agreed that they could use the photo. Thinking it was for some glossy magazine article, I asked when it would be published. ‘Tomorrow’ came the reply. So we dutifully bought a copy of the paper the next day (Confession, it’s not the one I normally read) and there it was, or at a small least part of it, on Page 3 in a serious story about the connection between our Royal Palaces and slavery.

Ceiling - Kings Staircase
The original photo as it appeared on the blog. The area reproduced is to the right of centre.

I have had photos that have appeared on the blog used elsewhere before. Most recently, a church that wanted to use some photos of an abbey founded by someone who was buried in their crypt. But this is my first time in a national newspaper. Do I now get to include a strap-line in the blog title ‘as seen in the Times’? Only kidding.

Verdun Tree

Posted: September 22, 2020 in Hertfordshire, History, UK
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This tree, near the Abbey in St Albans, was one of a number planted as war Memorials in England following the First World War. They came from acorns and chestnuts collected from trees that remained standing on the battlefield of Verdun, which were then brought to England and distributed to Towns and cities across the country. Some such as the one at Lichfield have been replaced by trees grown from acorns of the original Verdun Trees planted in this country and in 2016 the Woodland Trust launched a project to ensure the continuation of the Verdun Trees by growing new trees from their acorns, which can be used to replace any that die.

The tree in St Albans was planted in 1976 from an original Verdun acorn.

St Albans Cathedral

Posted: September 18, 2020 in Hertfordshire, History, UK
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The first Benedictine Abbey at St Albans was founded in 793 by Ulsinas. It is thought that this may have been on site further up the hill than the present building which was begun in 1077. It is a building which includes many architectural styles: Norman, Romanesque (11th Century) Gothic and 19th Century.

The Story of St Alban

Posted: September 15, 2020 in History, UK
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St Albans

Posted: September 11, 2020 in Hertfordshire, History, Roman History, UK
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St Albans

Posted: September 8, 2020 in History, UK
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The City of St Albans is situated just north of London. It dates back to the Iron age when it was a local tribe capital called Verulamium, which lay just to the south west of the current city centre. When the Romans arrived in AD50, they developed it into a ‘municipum’. In 61 AD it was sacked by Boudica during the Iceni rebellion, but this was only a short break in its continued development. There were town other significant town fires, one in 155 and the other in 250, which caused significant damage.

When the Romans withdrew between 400 and 500 the town continued and eventually became an Anglo-Saxon Regional centre. An Abbey was founded on the hill overlooking the Roman town and gradually the centre of the town shifted to the area around the Abbey. The present abbey was begun in 1077 and contains much building material taken from abandoned Roman Buildings.

The life of the town continued pretty much unimpeded during the middle ages, although St Albans was the site of 2 battles during the War of the Roses.

In 1877, it was granted city status and the church became a Cathedral on the formation of the Diocese of St Albans in the same year.

The Salt Tower was built around 1230 as part of Henry III’s curtain wall. It has an upper chamber which has been used as accommodation for prisoners. The most famous of these was John Balliol, King of Scots from 1296-1299. It has a display of prisoner graffiti.

The E is thought to refer to the future Elizabeth the First. The signature is of John Baptiste Catiglione, Elizabeth's Italian tutor who was imprisoned here by Queen Mary.

The E is thought to refer to the future Elizabeth the First. The signature is of John Baptiste Catiglione, Elizabeth’s Italian tutor who was imprisoned here by Queen Mary.

This globe is by Huw Draper, Bristol inn-keeper and Astrologer who was imprisoned on charges of socery

This globe is by Huw Draper, Bristol inn-keeper and Astrologer who was imprisoned on charges of sorcery.

John Lyon ws  imprisoned  in the Salt Tower on charges of importing a Catholic book into the country

John Lyon was imprisoned in the Salt Tower on charges of importing a Catholic book into the country