Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Japanese Garden, Dartmouth

Dartmouth, situated at the mouth of the river Dart in Devon is a town which has long-standing naval links. It was recorded in 1147 and 1190 as a departure port for the crusades and was twice raided and sacked during the Hundred Years War. This led to the practice of closing the estuary each night by stretching a chain across from Dartmouth to Kingswear on the other side.

Dartmouth Railway Station. Built in preparation for a railway connection to the South Devon line. Unfortunately, the Railway never reached the Town.

Naval references are found everywhere in the town.

Lots of little lanes ascend the hillside.

The town has many buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and Tudor periods.

The cherub public house, probably the oldest building in Dartmouth. Dating back to c 1380 it was originally the house of a townsman or merchant.

Inside The Cherub

It is home to the Royal Brittania Naval College, founded in 1863 and housed in an impressive hillside building overlooking the town, completed in 1905.

Britannia Royal Naval Academy

Have you ever imagined what Rome looked like? How did all those ruins link together?

Here is a tour of Rome in the year 320AD looking at the major sites as they looked then.

https://www.vox.com/2016/2/28/11129238/rome-reborn-video.

If you enjoy this tour you can go off and explore for yourself using an interactive map.

For details see: http://rome320ad.com/

Happy sightseeing!

 

 

All that remains of the Medieval Franciscan Monastery in London, or the famous school which occupied the same site, are two blue plaques on the wall of a London office building.

The friary was founded in Stinking Lane, part of the Butchers quarter, in 1225. The land was donated by merchants, the timber by King Henry III and the church building was financed by the Mayor of London. It was a prestigious foundation and rapidly expanded -within 20 years it housed 80 friars. The church was expanded again in the 13th century to have 11 chapels and amongst those buried there are 3 queens of England – Eleanor of Provence (Henry III); Margaret (Edward I) and  Isabella (Edward II).

Greyfriars-site-map in early 16th century By Peter Damian – The Grey Friars of London by C.L. Kingsbury, Public Domain, https/commons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=12313224

It continued on the site until it was closed down in 1538 on the orders of Henry VIII as part of his dissolution of the monasteries.  The building passed to the City of London and the church continued to be used for worship. Henry’s son, Edward VI founded Christ’s hospital, a school for Orphans, in the friary buildings in 1552.

The church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren and became known as Christchurch.

Remains of Christchurch

For more details on Christchurch go to

( https://petesfavouritethings.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/london-churches-christchurch-greyfriars/ ).

View of Greyfriars site 1895 = Public Domain, httpsen.wikipedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=27356487

Christ’s Hospital school remained on the site until 1902 when it relocated to Horsham in Sussex. The site was redeveloped and now houses the offices of Merrill Lynch International.

 

Perhaps one of the strangest named churches in the city of London, St Vedast-alias-Foster lies within the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. Its dedication is to Vedast, a sixth century Bishop of Arras in France, who had restored Christianity to that area by the conversion of King Clovis of the Franks. It is an unusual dedication in England and only two others are known – one in Tathwell in Lincolnshire and the other is in Norwich (the church no longer exists and is only remembered in a road name). There are a number of possibilities as to how a  parish in central London came to be named after such a little-known French saint. One is that St Vedast was particularly venerated by the Augustinian Friars and that this may have been how the dedication arrived in London. Alternatively, it may have been set up by the Flemish community living in London. A third possibility is that we know that one Ralph d’Arras was the Sheriff of London around 1275 and he may have brought the dedication from his hometown. Although there is some indication of a church on this site stretching back possibly as far as  1170, there was certainly a church on the site by the end of the 13th century. The ‘alias-Foster’ in the title refers to its position in Foster Lane, although if there was only one church with this dedication in London why did the location have to be added. Maybe there is another church yet to be discovered?

Entrance to St Vedast

The church was expanded in the 15th and 16th centuries, but as with many City churches succumbed to the great Fire of London in 1666. it would appear that although the church was gutted, the damage was not too severe as St Vedast appears to have continued in use form shortly afterwards. However in the 1690s, it became clear that the structural damage from the fire would need to be addressed and the church was rebuilt under the guidance of Sir  Christopher Wren, who completed the work in 1699. Again in keeping with many City churches, St Vedast was burnt out following the bombing raid of 29 December 1940. Plans for rebuilding were laid in 1947, but work on the restoration did not begin until 1953.

Font

Pulpit

Stained Glass above main altar

Secluded courtyard garden entered through St Vedast church

St Vedast, as it stands today, is a haven of peace and quiet in one of the busiest parts of the city. In addition to its architecture, the church also has a  collection of church silverware which include some pieces from before the Commonwealth period. This is quite unusual as most of these were destroyed by the Commonwealth inspectors.

Elizabethan Chalice and Paten.

Amazing! What is still to be discovered elsewhere in London?

Stephen Liddell

As the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for centuries, Lambeth Palace, which sits on the south bank of the River Thames in London might be expected to have its fair share of graves of prominent people in history.

However, recent building work at the now deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth has unearthed some incredible and totally unexpected findings.    Despite every corner of this old church being carefully examined and renovated over the years, builders have just discovered the remains of several Archbishops of Canterbury from the 17th century beneath a medieval parish church in south-west London.

The renovation team were lifting flagstones and exposing the ground in the church when they uncovered what looked like an entry to a tomb.   To search the void, located next to Lambeth Palace, they used a mobile phone camera as their guide.

Incredibly the builders had discovered an ancient crypt that…

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Madame la Guillotine

Posted: April 25, 2017 in History
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The execution of Marie Antonette 1793 – Unknown – http://www.artres.com/Doc/ART/Media/TR3/F/M/8/Q/ART1662.jpg

In Paris, 225 years ago today, the guillotine claimed its first victim. The guillotine was not the first device of execution of this type. However previous devices,  such as the Scottish Maiden and the Halifax Gibbet usually killed by crushing the neck or just by blunt force trauma.

Scottish Maiden. By David Monniaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=227427

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin after whom the device was named was not, in fact, it’s designer. Guillotin was a member of the French National Assembly who laid down a motion in 1789 that capital punishment should be by decapitation ‘by means of a simple mechanism’.

The guillotine was designed by a Monsieur Laquite, an officer of the Strasbourg criminal court and was considered more humane than the of its predecessors or the use of an axe or a sword.

Guillotine from the city of Luxembourg. Photo by Christian Ries via Wikimedia Commons

The first person to be executed by guillotine was Nicolas-Jacques Pelletier, who had been found guilty of a brutal attack on another man and sentenced to death. He was taken to the Square outside of the hotel de Ville in Paris. It seems as though this may have been the first time that he realised exactly how he was going to be executed and it is reported that he fainted at least once on seeing the guillotine. He was quickly executed and although the authorities found this an efficient and reliable way of execution, it is reported that an element in the crowd were deeply upset with the lack of spectacle.

The guillotine became synonymous with the French Revolution but in fact, it remained the method of execution in France until capital punishment was abolished in 1981. The last person to be executed was Hamida Djandoubi, a murderer, in September 1977.

60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ is probably one of the most famous and iconic heritage steam engines in the UK and this past Bank Holiday weekend it has come south from its home at York to run on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

 

60103 at East Grinstead

Built as LNER4472, an A1 Pacific class locomotive at Doncaster, it entered into service in February 1923. It didn’t receive a name until the following year when it was part of the British Empire exhibition when it was decided to name it after the daily express train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh ‘The Flying Scotsman’. It 1924 it became the first locomotive to officially be recorded as reaching 100mph and it headed the first non-stop run between London and Edinburgh in May 1928.

Model of 4472 as originally built

In the 1940s the A1 class was rebuilt and remodelled into the new design A3 Pacifics and 4472 underwent this process in 1947 and was renumbered the following year as 60103 following the nationalisation of the railways.

60103 preparing to leave East Grinstead with southbound service.

60103 approaches Horsted Keynes at head of northbound service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It hauled its last passenger train on 14th January 1963 between Kings Cross and Leeds. It was bought by Alan Pegler, who put it to work running charter trains. In 1967 it visited the USA as part of a tour to promote British goods and services and was very successful. However, an attempt to repeat this in 1969, saw the company go into bankruptcy and 60103 was seized by American creditors.

60103 at Sheffield Park

A rescue operation was put together and new owners purchased the engine and it arrived back in the UK in February 1972. It split its time between mainline charters and work on the now growing number of heritage railways. In 1988 it visited Australia and set the record for the longest ever non-stop run for a steam locomotive (Alice Springs to Perth). Returning the opposite way to which it went out it became the first, and possibly the only, Steam locomotive to have circumnavigated the world.

60103 at Sheffield Park

In 1993 it became necessary to restrict its running to heritage lines and two years later it was withdrawn from service. it returned to running in 1999 and continued to run until 2004 when it was bought by the National Railway Museum, who embarked on a 10-year refurbishment programme. 60103 returned to steam in February 2014.

 

Keith and I spent a day at the Tall Ships festival this week. Our first stop was at The Royal Arsenal at Woolwich where a number of visiting ships were berthed.

Artemis built in 1926 as a whaler. Later converted to a freighter and now used as a floating hotel cruising the Baltic.

Replica of The Nao Victoria which circumnavigated the world in 1519-1522

Tolkien was built as a diesel powered tug operating out of Rostock. In 1995 she was in Rotterdam when the company who owned her went bankrupt. She was bought by a private individual who removed her diesel engines and converted her into a top-sail schooner. She operates cruises in the Baltic and the North Sea

 

TS Royalist belongs to the Sea Cadets and is used for training.

When the ships leave Greenwich on Sunday, they will sail to Portugal before crossing the Atlantic to Canada.

Crinoids Fossils

Posted: April 3, 2017 in History, Natural History, Newcastle, UK
Tags:

Despite their appearance Crinoids are animals. They were common in pre-historic times and often are found as fossils.

These are from The Hancock Museum in Newcastle and are particularly fine specimens.

What they may have looked like

A fascinating find whether it is from the Middle ages or the 17th century. Whats under your garden?

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

Four4Four Science: 700-year-old Knights Templar cave complex hidden beneath U.K. farmer's field; Jeff Bezos plans moon deliveries, mind-controlled robot, mold sells for $15,000
Hidden caves of the mysterious Knights Templar revealed

A rabbit hole in the UK conceals the entrance to an incredible cave complex linked to the mysterious Knights Templar.

New photos show the remarkable Caynton Caves network, which looks like something out of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” The shadowy Knights Templar order is said to have used the caves.

The Sun reports that the caves are hidden beneath a farmer’s field in Shropshire. The site was visited by photographer Michael Scott after he saw a video of the caves online. “I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn’t know it was there you would just walk right past it,” Scott said.

Once inside, Scott encountered arches, walkways, and carved niches. He described the caves as cramped, noting that anyone nearing six-feet tall has to bend down inside the…

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