The art that made us

This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry;     The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us

St Paul’s Cathedral, before, during and after the fire of 1666….

We all know what St Paul’s Cathedral looks like now – that enormous Wren dome looming over the City of London from Ludgate Hill. The above illustration is a reconstructon of the original St Paul’s. What a wonderful building! And how tragic that it was burned down in that cursed fire of 1666. There is… Continue reading St Paul’s Cathedral, before, during and after the fire of 1666….

Two Huggin Lanes, two churches of St Michael….

  The 14th-century story of John of Gaunt enjoying dinner in a friend’s house (including oysters, I understand) in the city of London when rebels ransacked his palace of the Savoy in the hope of laying hands upon him. He escaped, but not before cracking his shin (or some such part of his anatomy) on… Continue reading Two Huggin Lanes, two churches of St Michael….


Reblogged from A Medieval Potpourri Old London – City of Churches.   Bow Church can be seen to the left.  Part of the The Visscher Panorama of London, 1616. Image Peter Harrington Rare Books.   Orange and lemons say the bells of Saint Clement’s You owe me five farthings say the bells of St Martin’s… Continue reading THE ORANGE AND LEMON CHURCHES OF OLD LONDON

Discovering Shakespeare’s London

Panorama of Old London.  The Old Bridge stood to the west of the new one. Of course Shakespearean London is post Ricardian but most of  the streets and buildings covered in this interesting article would have been there in Richard’s time. For anyone visiting London,  this article  would be an excellent referral point… Continue reading Discovering Shakespeare’s London

St Stephen’s Westminster – Chapel to Kings and Queens..

UPDATED POST ON A Medieval Potpourri Reconstruction of a Medieval Painting from St Stephen’s Chapel.  Possibly Queen Philippa with her daughter.  Ernest William Tristram c.1927.   Worked from original drawings made by the antiquarian Richard Smirke 1800-1811 before the fire of 1834. Society of Antiquities.   Parliamentary Art Collection St Stephen’s was the medieval… Continue reading St Stephen’s Westminster – Chapel to Kings and Queens..

“World’s Greatest Palaces” …

… is another excellent series on the “Yesterday” Channel. Last night I watched the fourth episode, about Kensington, the influence of architects such as Wren and Hawksmoor, the evolution of the building, the creation of the Serpentine Lake and the monarchs and their relatives who have lived there. These include William III and Mary II,… Continue reading “World’s Greatest Palaces” …

The Walbrook – river of mystery…!

Ah, what a romantic picture the title of this post conjures. It is certainly not descriptive of the now invisible Walbrook , which had to be covered because it stank so much. Well, the smell was one of the reasons for it being enclosed. I have recently been researching the Walbrook’s exact course. Or, at… Continue reading The Walbrook – river of mystery…!

London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)

Who let Dan Jones out? At least, as in his last outing, he is accompanied both by a historian (Suzannah Lipscomb) and an engineer (Rob Bell), narrating and illustrating almost two millennia of the city’s past. In the first episode, we were taken through the walled city of “Londinium” being built and rebuilt after Boudicca’s… Continue reading London: 2000 years of history (channel 5)

The Propaganda of Charles II

Guest author Richard Unwin explains the context behind the discovery of those convenient bones: Charles II came to the throne in 1660 after the period of Commonwealth when England, and particularly its entertainments, had been suppressed by Puritan authority. The security of the new reign was precarious and there were many in the country opposed… Continue reading The Propaganda of Charles II