Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Sights of London: Nelsons Column

Posted: June 15, 2018 in History, London, UK
Tags: ,

(first posted in April 2013)???????????????????????????????

Nelson’s column is found in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London. It was built to commemorate the life of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who had died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument took three years to build and was completed in 1843.
Nelson had fought in the American War of Independence but really came to prominence during the French Revolutionary War in which he was involved in a number of the most significant naval encounters including the Battle of Cape St Vincent, Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Copenhagen. He died on his ship, HMS Victory, at the moment is of the fleet’s victory over combined Franco-Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
???????????????????????????????
The reliefs at the bottom of the column display scenes from his battles. The one shown below depicts his death on HMS Victory

DSC00374

 

Last week whilst I was doing the weekly survey I came across a moth resting in amongst the flowers in the garden. Now I confess I don’t know a lot about Moths but thanks to the help of a facebook group it was soon identified as a Silver Y Moth (Autographa Gamma). A common Moth it is named after the y-shaped mark on its wing.

 

Eltham Palace has a wide range of Art Deco furnishings and artworks.

The Palace shows that it was at the forefront of modern innovation as it has a built-in vacuum cleaning system. There were outlets in every room where the cleaner would plug in a hose and a centralised collection system in the basement.

In the past couple of years, English Heritage has opened some of the rooms in the basement which were used by the Courtaulds as a bomb-shelter during WWII. These include a dark room for developing photographs and a billiard room.

 

Further details of visiting can be found at http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/eltham-palace-and-gardens/

A touch of India

Posted: June 7, 2018 in London, UK
Tags:

Catching up on a present from my mum. A lovely morning at Etalier des chefs at Oxford Circus cooking Chicken Madras and accompaniments. Thanks to Giles the chef and all the staff for for a great tasty morning.

 

Plaque marking the site of Whittington’s House in College Hill

Sir Richard Whittington (1354-1423) was a merchant and Politician. He was a 4-time Lord Mayor of London, a Member of Parliament and Sheriff of London. In his life, he sought to improve conditions for those living in London, financing drainage projects and hospital wards. Whittington also provided finance for a 128 seater public toilet on the banks of the Thames known as Whittington’s Longhouse. His bequest was used to rebuild Newgate Prison, build the Guildhall Library and carry out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The remainder was used to found a charity which is still in operation today.

By Alex Hogg and Co, after Guillaume Philippe Benoist – From “History of the Memorable Sir Richard Whittington”, in The New Wonderful Museum, and Extraordinary Magazine[2], volume vol. 3, Alex. Hogg & Co., 1805, page 1420 OCLC:43172669., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1082839

Sir Richard Whittington’s House in 1803. This file is from the Mechanical Curator collection, released to Flickr Commons by the British Library. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32463321

 

He was also the basis for the folk-tale Dick Whittington, who came to London to find his fortune. The real Whittington was born in Gloucestershire and being a younger son was sent to London to learn his trade as a Mercer. He became very successful and amassed a large fortune which enabled him to lend money to the King. But this is about as far as the folk-tale and the real story compare. Pictures of him with a cat come from much later periods.

He is buried in St Michael Paternoster Royal in the city (see https://petesfavouritethings.blog/2017/01/17/london-churches-st-michael-paternoster-royal/. )

 

Plaque on the wall of St Michael Paternoster Royal

 

The only surviving part of the Medieval Palace is the Great Hall, built by King Edward IV between 1475 and 1480. By the time the Courtaulds arrived in the 1930s it was being used as a barn and desperately in need of repair

They set about restoring it and used it as a large dining room and ballroom.

Today it is used as a wedding venue when the Palace is not open to the public.

DSCN0721-2

King George the fourth succeeded his father, George III, in January 1820 although he had filled the role of monarch since 1811 due to his father’s illness.

George was known for an extravagant lifestyle and was known as a patron of the arts. He was responsible for the building of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, remodelling Buckingham Palace and he rebuilt Windsor Castle. Although said to be a charming and cultured man, his lifestyle made him unpopular with his subjects. He had one child, Princess Charlotte, but she died in 1817, aged 21. On his death in 1830, he was succeeded by his younger brother William.

This statue stands on a plinth in Trafalgar Square. It is by Sir Francis Chantrey and was originally intended to stand on the top of the Marble Arch. It was erected in 1844.

When the Courtaulds came to Eltham they brought their pet Ring-tailed Lemur with them. Called Mah-Jong, he was most often just referred to as ‘Jongy’. It was a time of unusual pets. Unity Mitford had a snake called Enid and was reputed to have brought her pet rat to a debutant ball.

Jongy had accompanied them on a trip on the couple’s boat from Cape Town to Cairo. It was reported that Jongy had his own special deckchair. It is also reported that he bit a dinner guest so bad that it took three months for the man to recover.

DSCN7686-2

At Eltham Palace, Jongy had his own quarters built on the first floor. It was centrally heated and decorated with scenes from the rainforest. However, he often had the run of the house and there are reports of guests at dinner being nipped on their ankles during the meal.

DSCN7816-3

Mah-jong died in 1938 at Eltham. Images of him can be found within the decoration within the house.

Eltham Palace (10): Bedrooms

Posted: May 11, 2018 in History, London, UK
Tags:

Each of the Bedrooms at Eltham Palace is individually designed and decorated.

The Pear Bedroom, so called because all the furnishings are made from Pearwood.

The Venetian Suite

Virginia Courtauld’s suite themed on a classical temple

My personal favourite bedroom in the house. I love the wall prints and the wooden furnishings plus that hidden door.

DSCN9204-2

The Lesnes Mulberry tree is believed to be descended from a tree planted at Lesnes in the early 17th century by James I who was trying to establish a British silk industry. Unfortunately, the project failed because the trees sold to the King were Black Mulberry and silkworms feed on White Mulberry.

Whether this was a genuine mistake or whether the King was scammed, we will never know