A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Central London

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is founded upon a religious site of the 7th century.  A monastery until 1539.  Then an abbey and had the status of a cathedral until 1560. Although it is still referred to as an abbey, it currently has the status of a “Royal Peculiar” and is directly responsible to the monarch.  It has been the place of royal coronation and burial since 1066.

Sited next to the Houses of Parliament ⇒, it is open to the public (for a fee – see the Abbey website ⇒ and history ⇒) but photography is not allowed inside.

The interior photographs that follow are taken from the Abbey website’s photo-gallery ⇒ that provides downloads for personal use.



About Picture this UK

Picture this UK (picturethisuk.org) Contains:- Best Places to Photograph in London, Best Places to Photograph near London, Best Places to Visit in London, Best Places to Visit near London, Best places to see in London and 100 + places to visit in London. Both inside and out.

Tower Bridge

British Museum

Please click on the ⇒Gallery⇐ for more

 

 

 

 

 


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.


Postal Museum, London

The Royal Mail was first introduced by Henry VIII in 1516 and then made available to the public in 1635.  Later it became part of the General Post Office (GPO) which included the telephone system.  The Royal Mail has been integral to Britain’s growth and maintenance since early times.  More information (prices and location) can be found on it’s website ⇒.

Since early times the mail had to be protected from thieves and pirates.

 

 

 

It continued through two world wars, delivering to military personnel as well as civilians

 

 

The Royal Mail introduced innovations like the pneumatic delivery system, where a cylinder was sent by compressed air along a tube.  The Royal Mail system had more than 40 miles of tubes beneath London.  And ~.

 

 

 

Just across the road and down the hill a little is the the old Royal Mail’s underground system, where you can have a pre-booked ride (please see the website link above).

 

 

Down that hole

And return pre-packed ready to mail home.  🙂



Harry Potter, Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 and 3/4

Inside Kings Cross one might find Harry Potter’s famous Platform 9 and 3/4

By heading for Platform 9  …..

.. and finding the shop ….

….. and then the Platform

You will have your photograph taken but only pay for if you want to buy at the shop.  You can have a friend take photographs without cost.   But, on busy days there is a queue.

There are tours of London film locations like this one ⇒ and the Warner Bros Harry Potter Film Studios ⇒  at 20 miles north-west of London.  You can also google for travel inclusive tours.  Have fun but watch out for those shop prices.


A Rare Opportunity to Photograph Inside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral

No longer available for 2017: There is a rare opportunity for visitors to photograph the interior of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral between 6:30 pm and 9 pm (last entry 8:15 pm) on the evenings of :-

  • Thursday 27th July 2017
  • Thursday 10th August 2017
  • Thursday 17th August 2017
  • Thursday 24th August 2017
  • Friday 25th August 2017
  • Monday 28th August 2017
  • Thursday 31st August 2017

This is for hand-held non-commercial photography only and the upper galleries will be closed for the evening. 

For those without cameras suitable for low-light conditions, the early evening may present the best opportunity.

For more information, ticket prices and booking in advance please click-on Summer Lates ⇒

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For a preview (photographs from 2015) and general admission, please click-on St Paul’s Cathedral ⇐ .

For permits and commercial photography/filming, please see here ⇒.

Enjoy.



Postman’s Park

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Postman’s Park contains a wonder. “The Material Prosperity Of A Nation Is Not An Abiding Possession: The Deeds of Its People Are”.  There are many plaques, each tell a story.

The park is opposite the entrance to London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital on King Edward Street.  It is small but has many benches and is very pretty in summer (this is a dank day in February).   About Postman’s Park ⇒.

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For a closer view please right-click on an image, choose “Open Link in New Tab” then left click on the image to magnify. Close the new tab to return here..

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They weren’t famous people and could easily have been forgotten. George Watts made sure that they were not.

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Museum of London

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An Extinct form of Wild Ox – The Aurochs 245,000 to 186,000 BC                             The 2012 London Olympics

34 pics.  The Museum of London ⇒ is at 150 London Wall (as distinct from the Museum of: London Docklands ⇐).  Inside is a quite extensive and interesting museum with a timeline that begins on the top floor, from prehistoric times to present day.  The museum is free to enter and non-commercial photography is allowed.

The museum is a short walk along St Martin’s Le Grand from St Paul’s underground rail station (central Line) .

Educational sessions, including those for young students, are available.

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Back Foot of the Straight Tusked Elephant 781,000 to 50,00 years before present.

There are a large number of prehistoric, bronze age, pre-Roman, Roman, post-Roman (Saxon) and Norman exhibits.  Alongside are a number of educational placards and films.  Too many items to show here and get to the exhibitions of later London.  So, here is just a taste of early times.

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museum-of-london-saxon-axesWhen the Romans finally left, about 400 AD, England was mostly populated by Saxon settlers and invading Norseman/Danes (Vikings) in the north.  The Saxons were weren’t necessarily all that war-like but spent most of their time farming.  The Norseman were commonly seafaring traders, it is just that some of them were a bit cantankerous.

On the other hand (imported from Waltham Abbey and King Harold’s Day ⇐ ) :-

King Harolds Day DSC_0971King Harolds Day DSC_0972In 954 Alfred (the Great) became the first King of All England.  By 6th January 1066 the position was taken up by Harold Goodwinson (Harold II).  On 25th September 1066 Harold Goodwinson defeated the viking forces of Harald Hadrada and Tostig at Stamford Bridge in the north.  Harold was then faced with a forced march of 241 miles to fend of the Norman invader, William (the Conqueror), in the south.  By October 14th the Saxon forces were defeated and Harold killed.  Thus began the Norman era and thence the reign of the Plantagenets and then the Tudors.

The London City Wall

Within the old city walls, William the Conqueror should only be referred to as William.  This is because he did not conquer London but instead gave it a charter.

To see the timeline click-on and then again to magnify.  It surprised me to note that our Magna Carta (in 1215 a limited Bill of Rights) was signed at roughly the same time as Genghis Khan conquered Persia.

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Between 1558 and 1603 was the great boom of wealth, culture and global influence of the Elizabethan era.  The effect continued for some time after.

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A silk dress for Anne Fanshawe (1625-1680) the daughter of the Lord Mayor of London

Sorry about the glare, I couldn’t find a way around it.

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An Eighteenth Century Pleasure Garden

Britain and particularly London continued to advance in wealth and prestige :-

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– although not for all:-

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– for some there was debtor’s prison.  For others there was stark poverty, starvation, disease with the work house as the only relief in later times. There is the Industrial Revolution and it’s long term impact at the London Science Museum⇐  and Wheels on Fire ⇐ (the struggle for fair play).

The Victorian Walk

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This is a fascinating walk into the past, complete with atmospheric background sounds.

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The 1920’s boom

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A lift at the Savoy Grill

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At the mini cinema you can take a seat and watch an old newsreel.

But then there was the 1930’s depression, and then :-.

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London and Britain itself were almost destroyed.  It needed the backing (and loss) of Britain’s entire empire, with considerable determination and sacrifice to hold on.  That effort stopped Hitler’s progress and provided a foot-hold for the USA to join us in the liberation of Europe.  If Britain had not been able to provide that foot-hold, the consequences could have been very different

At the end of WWII, Britain was in dire straits.  Rationing continued until 1953, eight years after the wars end. Austerity continued until the early 1960’s

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Then things began to pick up.  6D is six old pence (when they were 240 to a UK pound).

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Then London began to swing again with a great burst of original art, music and cultural evolution.  Not just in London but all over Britain.  We may not be so bright at the present but:-.

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For more of the Past That Made the Present there is Wheels on Fire ⇐, a timeline at the Science Museum ⇐ and the History of Navigation ⇐.


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.

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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.


Covent Garden Market, London

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The area was first settled in the 7th century, although abandoned by the 9th century it was eventually walled off by Westminster Abbey in 1201 for use as arable land and orchards.  The area was referred to as the “Garden of the Abbey and Convent”, and then later the “Covent Garden”.   By 1654 a small fruit and vegetable market had developed. By 1974 the market had become substantial and moved to New Covent Garden Market near Nine Elms.

More history ⇒.

These days the market houses outlets for arts, crafts, fashion and a number of eateries.  Whilst it can be expensive the entertainment is free.  A large, interesting and not necessarily expensive market can be found at Old Spitalfields Market⇒ which has some speciality days. 

Covent Garden:-.

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A little opera (A Capella of course) with ones luncheon.

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Or a string quartet.

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Or perhaps a little bondage.

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Maybe watch someone juggle with sharp stuff.

They do make an effort at Christmas.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please to put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

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