St Mary le Strand is one of London’s “island churches”, standing on a traffic island by Somerset House. It’s the second church to be called St Mary le Strand, the first having been pulled down in 1549 to make way for Somerset House. Construction of the present church began in 1714, the architect being James Gibbs (architect of St Martin-in-the-Fields among many other places).
I’d taken photos of the exterior of St Clement Danes Church on a previous visit to London but I was finally able to spare the time to go inside in September. Right by the Royal Courts of Justice it is one of London’s two “island churches”, so-called because of the layout of the road around it. (The other is St Mary le Strand which will be the focus of a later post).
Whenever I’m in London for a few days I try and schedule an afternoon of just wandering around an area and taking photos of places I’ve not managed to visit before or where I’ve visited only briefly. Despite the intermittent rain after visiting Temple Church I decided to take a wander around Somerset House. There was some sort of event going on inside so I only took photos of the courtyard and exterior.
I’ve had the Temple Church on my to visit list for a while now and I finally got around to it on this most recent trip to London. The London headquarters of the Knights Templar, from where Temple Church took its name, it was consecrated in 1185. The Templar’s churches were always built to a circular design in remembrance of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which certainly makes it a striking building.
I’m not sure why I hadn’t realised you could actually go inside Wellington Arch until my most recent visit to London. It’s now an English Heritage property, built as an original entrance to Buckingham Palace but then became a victory arch celebrating the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon. The sculpture at the top, apparently the largest bronze sculpture in Europe, represents the Angel of Peace descending on the four-horsed Chariot of War.
Apsley House is an English Heritage property at Hyde Park Corner, the former residence of the Duke of Wellington. A Grade I listed building it was originally built by Robert Adam between 1771 and 1778 for Lord Apsley, the then Lord Chancellor, hence the name. The Duke of Wellington purchased the house in 1817.
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.
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.
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.
In 2014 Transport for London, along with businesses and artists created an art trail to celebrate the iconic London bus. All the sculptures were to be auctioned off for charity in 2015 but at least one, Westminster Bus by Jenny Leonard, was still in place in late 2016 when I took these photos.