England

Holland Park, London

On my last visit to London I’d put Holland Park on my to do list, weather permitting. Thankfully the sun was out that day and it was more than warm enough for me to eat breakfast there before heading towards my main goal of Kyoto Garden.

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St Philip’s Church, Kensington

I popped into St Philip’s Church in Kensington purely because I was passing and saw the door was open. The building dates from around 1857, being consecrated in 1858.

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Throwback Thursday: Martins Bank

The Martins Bank building below, as of taking the picture a bar, was the first of two branches to open in Nottingham in 1931.

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Tate Britain

Tate Britain is the oldest gallery in the Tate network of galleries (Tate Modern being one of the others), dating from 1897. It houses British art from 1500 to the present day including the largest collection of works by J M W Turner, for whom the Turner Prize was named.

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Throwback Thursday: Mapperley Hall, Nottingham

Mapperley Hall was built by Ichabod Wright, a banker, in 1792. The Wright’s were a prominent family in Nottingham and many of them have plaques erected in St Mary’s Church. It was their home until the end of the 19th century when it became part of University College Nottingham. As best as I can make out it has now been split into separate flats.

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St Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall

St Mary Magdalene Church has been on my local must list visit for a number of years and I finally managed it in September. It is most notable for being the burial place of both Lord Byron and his daughter, the mathematician Ada Lovelace.

We received a very warm welcome from two of the volunteers who throughout our visit were very accommodating and chatted to me about the church, providing some extra details about the history of the building. The church does however have a lot of information boards about Byron, Ada and other figures connected to the church, as well as QR codes making it possible to work your way around several “trails” depending on who you want to focus on.

The building itself is on the site of an old Saxon church, the porch dating from 1320 and the tower built in stages between the 12th and 14th centuries. Much of the rest of the building dates from 1872.

The church has many claims to fame. The first of course is as the burial place of Lord Byron and in the baptistery there are many objects related to him including this quite impressive plaque and statue.

One of the other claims to fame is as the burial ground of Ada Lovelace, Byron’s only legitimate daughter, a mathematician who is credited with having written the first computer programme. Byron and her mother separated shortly after her birth and so she never knew her father. She did however remain fascinated with him though her mother steered her towards more scientific subjects rather than poetical. She died of cancer aged 36 in 1852 and was the last member of the family to be buried in the vault, at her own request. What you see of the tomb isn’t actually that impressive, as the coffin is actually beneath the church, but interesting to see nonetheless.

Another claim to fame is that St Mary Magdalene has a large collection of stained glass windows by Charles Eamer Kempe a renowned Victorian designer.

Definitely worth a visit. You can see some more photos here.

 

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Nottingham Heritage Vehicles Charity

As part of Heritage Open Day in September we visited the Nottingham Heritage Vehicles Charity in Hucknall. I try to visit somewhere new each Open Day and as I’d never heard of this place until I’d spotted it on the website I thought it was worth taking a chance on. The NHVC’s aim is to preserve and restore local transport and as such they had different buses on display during our visit.

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The Museum of Timekeeping

The Museum of Timekeeping is in the Grade II* Upton Hall in Nottinghamshire, the home of the British Horological Institute. It’s been somewhere I’ve meant to visit for a while and I finally managed it in September before it closed for the season (it has very limited opening hours between May – September). It’s a working museum with lots of clocks, watches and other devices ticking away as you make your way around.

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Throwback Thursday: The Birkin Building, Nottingham

The Birkin Building in the Lace Market in Nottingham was designed by Thomas Chambers Hine another architect who, like Watson Fothergill, made a big impact on the city. It was, of course, a lace warehouse made for Richard Birkin, a lace manufacturer, in 1855.

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Museum of Liverpool

I wasn’t really sure what to expect at the Museum of Liverpool but actually it proved to be my favourite of Liverpool’s museums. Opened in 2011 it is apparently the largest newly built national museum in the UK for more than 100 years, and I admit the building’s design was a major reason why I decided to go inside.

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