Monthly Archives: September 2017

Visiting the Houses of Parliament

Westminster Hall

Visiting the Houses of Parliament

 

There are any number of ways of visiting the Houses of Parliament and it‘s best to visit the website to find out the latest times and prices, but if you’re a UK citizen you can arrange a tour through your local MP.

http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours/tours-of-parliament

Entry is through the Cromwell Green visitor entrance where you will have to go through a series of airport-like security checks. There aren’t any luggage lockers and they recommend that you only carry a small bag. Continue reading

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A Palace and a Parliament

The Houses of Parliament

A Palace and a Parliament

 

When King Canute started to build a home for himself in Westminster back in 1016 I don’t suppose for one minute that he thought it would become a place known throughout the world a thousand years later, and in a way he would be right because there’s nothing left of what he, or his successor, Edward the Confessor, built.

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City and Borough of Westminster

Piccadilly Circus

City and Borough of Westminster

 

London has 31 Boroughs, 1 City (The City of London), and Westminster, which is both a Borough and a City.

Whereas the City of London became the legal and financial powerhouse of London, Westminster became the religious, royal and political centre.

This is the home of Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament, but it’s also the place to come for entertainment, shopping and culture in places like Piccadilly Circus, Oxford St and Trafalgar Square. I guarantee that you’ll run out of time – or steam – or both, before you’ve even scratched the surface. Continue reading

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The City of London

The City of London

 

London was born almost 2,000 years ago, when the Romans set up a trading post on the banks of the River Thames called Londinium in 47 AD.

The wall that they built around their town corresponds roughly with the boundary of the City of London today.

It borders Westminster to the west, Tower Hamlets to the east, Camden, Islington and Hackney to the north, and the River Thames to the south.

The area covers just one square mile and has a population of less than 8,000, far fewer than any other borough in London. In fact, it’s not even a borough, but a city in its own right and is administered by the City of London Corporation.

It may be small in size and population, but it has always been one of the most important and influential areas of the city.

After the Romans left, the Anglo Saxons created their own community just to the west of the wall and the former Roman town became virtually uninhabited. However, the location of old Londinium still had its advantages for trading. The Thames being tidal, meant that boats could come up this far, and yet it was still narrow enough to be bridged.

 

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Truro Cathedral

Truro Cathedral

 

It may seem hard to believe, but when the foundation stones were laid for Truro Cathedral on 20th May 1880 by the future King Edward VII, they were beginnings of the first Cathedral to be built in England since Salisbury in 1220.

Designed by John Loughborough Pearson it is built mainly of Cornish granite in the medieval Gothic style with the more decorative features made out of the softer Bath stone. Continue reading

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Cathedral Green

Cathedral Close and the Green

Cathedral Green

 

The focal point of Exeter is undoubtedly the Cathedral and its adjacent Green.

It’s been at the heart of the city since Roman times, and somehow managed to escape serious damage during the air raids of 1942.

Surrounding the Green are some interesting and harmonious buildings that have been here for centuries.

At No.1 Cathedral Close is Mol’s Coffee House, built in the 16th century with original features inside, although the Dutch style gable wasn’t added until 1879. Look out for the coat of Arms of Elizabeth I dating from 1596.

No.5 Cathedral Close dates from 1700 and No.6 from 1770. Numbers 7, 8, and 9a were originally medieval courtyard houses and numbers 10 & 11 were the Archdeacon of Barnstaples residence.

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Exeter Cathedral

The West Front

Exeter Cathedral

 

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter, to give it its proper name, is without doubt Exeter’s crowning glory.

Built on the hill where the original Roman camp was established, it was conceived in its present form in 1114, but its history goes back even further to Saxon times when a Benedictine monastery and Minster was set up here around 670 AD.

One of its pupils was Winfrith, later known as St. Boniface, who was born in Crediton (c675), some 8 miles or so north west of Exeter where the See of Devon and Cornwall was based.
His missionary work took him from Exeter to Frisia and Germania, where he became venerated to such an extent that he eventually became the patron saint of Germany.
In 1050 Bishop Leofric transferred the See to the Minster at Exeter.

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