A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Art

Apsley House – The Wellington Museum

Apsley House (Wellington Museum) is one of the most ornate houses in London with a stunning collection of artwork.  Unfortunately it is also one of the few places where photography is not allowed.  Some photographs can be obtained from flickr or from the archives and are permitted for personal use.   Their website is here ⇒.  And the Wellington Collection is here ⇒ and fabulous house interiors here ⇒

Attributed to Elliot Brown on Flickr licensing at Link ⇒

Attributed to Craig Morey on Flickr licensing at  Link ⇒


Leighton House

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Will Pryce

Leighton House is one of the very few venues featured on this blog where photography is not allowed. But is surely worth a visit.  There is much more to see at Leighton House, and the Leighton House website is here ⇒.  Viewers may also be interested in nearby Holland Park (inc Kyoto Gardens) and the extraordinary victoriana at 18 Stafford Terrace.

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Kevin Moran

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Keven Moran

Photograph provided by kind permission of Leighton House – Courtesy of Will Pryce


Cartoon Museum, London

The Cartoon Museum is moderately priced and hosts exhibitions, events and workshops for both children and adults (see website ⇒ ) and is very close to the British Museum ⇐ which is free to enter.  Cartoons and single frame caricatures  have been an integral part of British life and included political, satirical, sarcastic, social commentary, humour and the downright bawdy.  Earlier cartoons/caricatures, than those here, can be found at the Queens Gallery ⇒.

? but it is quite fascinating.




Although often irreverent, cartoonist could also be patriotic especially in times of war.

The infamous Andy Capp by Reg Smythe

And, a little social commentary from an unlikely source.

And, something to read.

And, learn how to draw cartoons.

Or the easy way, which made me hungry.


Lloyd Park, Walthamstow and a Mystery Tune

Lloyd Park is right behind the William Morris Gallery ⇐ which has a some outstanding exhibits.  Lloyd Park ⇒ has some pleasant lawns amongst trees and is surrounded by a very pretty moat.  Further down there is a quite beautiful mystery tune but I have no idea who created it.  First the moat.




At the far end is the Delice café and some more park with an art gallery (next time).  Meantime more of the moat.

Add a little whimsy and the mystery tune.

This tune has been passed around for years but nobody knows who created it or where it came from.  So, if anybody can identify it, I would be grateful.   Meantime it is beautiful, calming and very suited to the pictures.



And, back to reality, perhaps.  🙂


William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow

William Morris (1834 to 1896) ⇒ was a writer, illustrator, textile/wallpaper designer, a social activist and founder of the Kelmscott Press. He had a considerable influence upon design during and after the Victorian period and was a close associate of Rossetti, Webb, Ruskin and Burne-Jones.

The gallery is free to enter and contains additional works by Burne-Jones.  It is not a huge collection but there is a lot of educational material and some artifacts with a real wow factor.   In addition the gallery provides an online collection, exhibitions (Mary Morris from October 2017 to January 2018), workshops and masterclasses.  Please see the gallery website ⇒ .  The easiest way to get to the gallery is at the bottom of this page.

More of William Morris can be found at the Red House ⇐ in Bexleheath (south-east of London) where he founded the decorative arts company, Morris, Marshal & Faulkner & Co which included wives and other family members.






The above wallpaper was for Queen Victoria and required 66 separate woodcuts (that’s how it was done) for each section.

The stained glass is by Edward Burne-Jones






For a closer look please right-click on the image, select “open in a new tab” and then left click in the tab/image to enlarge.

 

 


Ruskin advised aspiring artists to copy a work by Albert Dürer “until you can’t look at anything else”.  William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones spent hours with the above Knight, Death and the Devil.

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Bust of William Morris

The easiest way to get to the gallery is by traveling to Tottenham Hale Rail Station (or Blackhorse Road Staion) and then take the number 123 bus which stops right outside the gallery pictured below.


Behind the gallery is the gallery garden and further on is the very pretty Lloyd Park ⇐.  Together with the free gallery it makes a very pleasant day out. 🙂


Victoriana at 18 Stafford Terrace and the Sambournes

Edward Lynley Sambourne and his wife (Marion) took residence of 18 Stafford Terrace in Kensington in 1874. The Sambourne family and descendants maintained the Victorian style and content.  The house was taken over and maintained by the Victorian Society and then the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1989.

The website ⇒ is informative, interesting and shows much of Edward Lylynley Sambourne’s work as an illustrator.   There are a variety of tours available and open house (when photography is allowed) on some afternoons.  Hence the website is an essential read for those who wish to visit and may wish to note there are four flights of stairs without a lift.

The website is also used by Leighton House.  An interesting place but photography is not allowed (2017). 

For 40 years Edward Lynley Sambourne was notable contributor to the comedic and satirical magazine Punch ⇒ (its website includes a large gallery of cartoons).  The house at 18 Stafford Terrace is full of drawings, artworks and some very fine stained glass.  He also created the earliest draft drawings for the illustrated version of the Rev Charles Kingsley’s book the Water-Babies.  More of Edward Lynley Sambourne’s work ⇒ as shown on Flickr.

The house and its atmosphere has been so carefully preserved that it is like walking back in time, although one can only enter the edge of each room.  Enjoy ~  🙂















. . and goodnight all.   🙂


The Red House at Bexleyheath

21 pics. The Red House is in a continuous state of renovation and hence a little sparse inside.  Nevertheless, it is intriguing, full of history and surrounded by gardens that are both beautiful and tranquil.  The house was designed by Phillip Web for his friend William Morris.  Both were very creative and have a long history of respect from their peers.  There is a lot more of the history at the end of this post and here is the website ⇒ with entry fees.

Nearby is the sumptuous Danson House ⇐ and it is not very far to the more ancient Hall Place ⇐.

In Walthamstow (North London) there is the free William Morris Gallery ⇐ which is well worth a look.

Meanwhile :-

The Red House Croquet Lawn with the equipment for those who know how to play.






The murals are perhaps not as vibrant as they appear here, but this is what the camera saw and hasn’t been enhanced.  I think it is perhaps because of the quite extraordinary light from the windows.









The history is readable by right-clicking on the image, select “Open in New Tab” from the pop-up menu and then left-click on the image to magnify.  Return here by exiting the new tab.




Hollyhocks

Of course the last say ⇐ must be given to the flowers who reliably appear year after year.


Guildhall Art gallery and Roman Amphitheater in London

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The Guildhall Art Gallery ⇒ is free to enter and is right beside Guildhall ⇐ .  Beneath are the remains of a Roman Amphitheater (AD 70) made more atmospheric by illuminated competitors.  The gallery houses a moderate size collection of quite impressive art including some pre-Raphaelite works.

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Lord Mayor Sir Francis Wyatt Truscot by Charles Bell Birch

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The Wounded Cavalier by William Shakespeare Burton

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La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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Fair St George by John Gilbert

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The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar (painted) by John Singleton Copley

The painting is so large that it occupies two floors. I’m sure that’s Stephen Fry on the horse.

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Demolition of London Bridge by J.W.S

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Music Lesson by Frederic Leighton

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Ninth of November by William Logsdail

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The Woodmans Daughter by John Everett Millais

Inspired by a tragic poem with the same title by Coventry Patmore.


Guildhall in London

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The Great Hall

12 pics. London’s Guildhall was built between 1411 and 1440.  It can be found near Bank Underground Rail station, just off Gresham Street. History ⇒.  Right beside Guildhall is the Guildhall Art Gallery ⇐ which includes the remains of a Roman amphitheater.

london guildhall

The entrance is just to the left of this picture and the art gallery to the right (another post). The building is mainly used for social functions but members of the public can view the Great Hall, when not in use. Please see the website ⇒

In the Great Hall their are a number of statues and stone tableaus.  Here are just three.

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Sir Winston Churchill

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Trafalgar and Nelson

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Lord Mayor William Beckton

And, at the far end.

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Great Hall Stained Glass

I found a small unlocked side door ( I do love an unlocked side door) and some steps leading upwards.  I found myself in the Old Library.

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Old Library

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There were a number of old paintings and some tapestries.

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Joust on London Bridge 1390

Another side door and some steps down ~

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Charles I, Edward VI and Elizabeth I

Leading to a a small hall.

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It was here I got nabbed by security, who were confused as to how I got into the members area. I agreed with them and was politely escorted out with my badly behaved camera (well, if they will leave old libraries just lying about).

Thank you for the visit and may all your side doors be rabbit holes.


The Queen’s House Interior at Greenwich

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The Great Hall Floor

14 pictures. The house has been refurbished and is free to visit.  It can be found adjacent to the National Maritime Museum⇐ in Wonderful Greenwich ⇐.  Check the Queen’s House opening times ⇒.  Non-commercial photography is allowed now (since early 2016). .

The house, formerly known as Queen Anne’s house, was built between 1616 and 1635 for Queen Anne (of Denmark) wife of James I of England.  Unfortunately Queen Anne died in 1619 and the house lay abandoned until work restarted in 1629 for Charles I’s consort, Henrietta Maria. 

The Queens House is now full of artwork including works by William Hodges, George Stubbs, Hans Holbein, William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, the Tulip Staircase by Inigo Jones and one of the famous Elizabeth I Armada portraits.

The architect was Inigo Jones and the style is said to have influenced the architecture of the USA White House.

The Architecture

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The Great Hall Ceiling

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The Tulip Spiral Staircase by Inigo Jones at the Queen’s House in Greenwich

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The Artwork

This is just a small sample.

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One of the three famous Elizabeth I Armada portraits that still exist.  This one cost £1.5 million.  There is another at Woburn Abbey and another at the National Portrait Gallery ⇐  (although I did not include the Armada Portrait) .

The Armada Portraits depict the destruction of the Spanish Armada whilst attempting to invade England.  The armada was destroyed mostly by the British weather.  Like many portraits of Elizabeth there are several symbols included.  For instance the pearls indicate purity, the bow indicates virginity and her right hand over the America’s indicate her advancing dominion and colonisation.

Other portraits of Elizabeth I can be found at Hatfield House ⇐ and show an even more advanced use of symbolism.

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The Thames and Greenwich Hospital by Moonlight by Henry Pether

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Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walt founded the state of Virginia in the Americas (after Elizabeth I the virgin Queen) and brought potatoes and tobacco to Europe.

This is why the Beatles sang in “I’m so Tired”, in reference to tobacco, ” And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git”. 

He  secretly married a Gentlewoman of the Queen’s Privy Chamber  (Elizabeth “Bess” Throckmorton) which resulted in he and his wife being imprisoned for several months.  Years later, he was executed for refusing to accept James I as Queen Elizabeth’s successor.  

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A Ships Figurehead

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The Young Queen Victoria

Thanks for your visit and I hope that you found that interesting.

As an added note, the house does have a reputation for being haunted ⇐.  To confess, it was probably me having a sick day.  To be more serious, I found it a very calm place and caused no concern at all.  Even the people, who took the photograph that started the rumour, refused to believe it was ghostly.