Opposite Liverpool Street Station in London, 162-164 Bishopsgate was built as a fire station in 1885 in a pastiche of the Tudor Gothic style using red brick and Portland stone. A really stunning building with some intricate decoration well above eye level.Continue reading
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has one of the best collections of jewellery in the world and back in January I had some time on my hands so I popped into the V&A as I nearly always do when nearby and headed up to the Jewellery Section. I hadn’t been there for ages and so hadn’t seen the new layout which is much better than the slightly cramped set-up I remembered from previous visits.Continue reading
With some time to kill while in the area (pre-COVID) I ventured into Holy Trinity Church which was designated as the Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Sir John Betjeman. The message of the movement (members included William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones) was to revere nature through crafts, painting and architecture as demonstrated by the church which was designed by John Dando Sedding in 1888.Continue reading
St Mary Abbots Church on Kensington High Street was built in 1872 and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (architect of the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office among many others), though church buildings had been on the site before then.
I wandered into Christ Church, Spitalfields mostly to shelter from a sudden downpour. Built between 1714 and and 1719 it was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor who worked alongside Christopher Wren. It was one of the first “commissioners’ churches” which had been established by Act of Parliament in 1711 to build fifty new churches for London’s expanding population.
After my very successful tour of Highgate Cemetery I decided that I would like to cross off all the so-called “Magnificent Seven” cemeteries in London, starting with Brompton. Opened in 1840 over 200,000 people are buried here and it is the only cemetery in the country managed by the Royal Parks on behalf of the nation. At over 40 acres it was specifically designed to resemble the layout of an open air cathedral and has some stunningly impressive architecture as well as being the final resting place of a large amount of interesting and notable people.
As I was in the Shoreditch area by the time I’d finished my planned Open House London visits I decided to have a wander around and look at some of the street art the area is famous for – with apologies that I didn’t make note of where exactly each photo was taken, here are some of my favourites.
I visited Sandys Row Synagogue in Spitalfields as part of Open House London and was impressed both by the warm welcome and the interior which is much more beautiful than its exterior would suggest. The building started out as L’Eglise de L’Artillerie (the Artillery Church) in 1766 being consecrated as a synagogue in 1876 for the Dutch Ashkenazi Jews, economic migrants who had begun moving to the area in the 1840s.
The Masonic Temple inside the Andaz Hotel on Liverpool Street was the only place during Open House London where I was required to queue to get in. When the hotel was sold for refurbishment it was so run down that the previous owners had no idea that this Grade II listed marble temple built in 1912 was boarded up behind a fake wall.
I went on a tour of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as part of Open House London. This was one of my I’m in the area so let’s see what it’s about picks and it turned out to be very interesting. The School was founded in 1899 and based elsewhere but their present home dates from 1926, officially opened in 1929.