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.
Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Britain and fifth largest in the world, built between 1904 and 1978. It was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, perhaps most famous for designing the iconic red telephone box.
Beaumaris Castle on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales was another castle, like Caernarfon to be built by Edward I. Construction began in 1295 but stopped around 1300 with the castle unfinished.
The Merchant Adventurer’s Hall is a Grade I listed timber framed building built in around 1357 by a fraternity of York citizens as a charity and business that became the Company of Merchant Adventurers of York in the 16th century.
St Leonard’s Church in Wollaton, Nottingham, has been around since the 1200s and it would have fallen under the care of the Mortein and then the Willoughby families, owners of the nearby Wollaton Hall.
Categories: England, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Tags: architecture, church, history, monument, photo post, stained glass, Wollaton, wollaton antiphonal, Wollaton Hall
York Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and more than half of Europe’s medieval stained glass is in its windows. The first church on the site dates from around 627 but the present building dates from around 1220.
Categories: England, York, Yorkshire
Tags: archaeology, chapter house, church, photo post, Roman, stained glass, statue, tower, view, York, York Minster
The Heathcote Buildings were erected in 1881 from a design by the Nottingham architects Walker and Howitt. Then, as now, it was built with shops in mind, though the top floor was a lace warehouse.
Paycocke’s House and Garden is a National Trust property in Coggeshall, Essex. The house was built in 1509 by Thomas Paycocke, a wealthy cloth merchant, one of the richest men in Coggeshall. The wool Paycocke produced, known as Coggeshall white, was said to be one of the best cloths in the country.
Charlecote Park is an impressive 16th century National Trust property on the banks of the River Avon in Warwickshire. Not only are the interiors beautifully decorated, but it is surrounded by a deer park where we were fortunate to get quite close to the deer, and the River Avon is literally on its door step.
Categories: England, Warwickshire
Tags: charlecote park, deer, deer park, Elizabeth I, flowers, garden, national trust, park, stained glass, statue, william shakespeare
Dr Johnson’s House is the 300 year old townhouse where Samuel Johnson lived and worked compiling his dictionary. Built by Richard Gough, a wool merchant, his is the only house to have survived from that time, including being damaged during the Blitz. It is nestled away down side streets off Fleet Street and it was a little tricky to find, though this could equally have been down to me paying more attention to photographing the area as it was to a surprising lack of signage.
Categories: England, London
Tags: black history, cat, david garrick, Francis Barber, london, plaque, samuel johnson, stained glass, stained glass window, statue