All Hallows by the Tower (AD 675) is the oldest church in London and almost the oldest in the UK. Some of its fascinating history can be found on its website here and its wiki history here. Older churches can be found here and the oldest UK church still functioning is St Martin’s (AD 597) near Canterbury.
The image above is of the Toc H Lamp signifying membership of that international charity which was founded by army chaplain Rev Tubby Clayton as a refuge from the fighting in Belgium during WWI. The Reverend was later vicar of All Hallows from 1922 to 1962.
All Hallows is a working church and engages in such enterprises as a food bank.
Part of the church was destroyed during WWII but there is a spiral staircase that leads down to the oldest part of the church, including a small museum with Saxon arches. At the end of the aisle is this alter with the rock face beyond.
The church is easy enough to find, being a little to the west of the Tower of London and its green spire easily visible at a distance when emerging from Tower Hill underground rail station.
The Natural History Museum, the very interesting Science Museum and fabulous Victoria & Albert Museum are all close together and very near South Kensington underground rail station. All are free to enter, although a small donation is usual, and have picnic areas (a wise choice).
The Natural History Museum also contains The Earth’s Treasury and The Vault of precious items. Both are worth seeing. It is advisable to arrive early at the Natural History Museum to avoid queues and download/save/print the the map. The website. Here is the architecture and a few of the exhibits.
The Architecture and Charles Darwin
At the main entrance “Dippy” (diplodocus), sometimes a Blue Whale, welcomes visitors with equal aplomb. Dippy likes walks in the park, sushi and going to the theater. Would like to meet similar, must have good sense of humour.
At the side entrance one is greeted by a smaller cousin. And then ~
The escalator to hell. It actually leads to a display of information about the earth’s early years and volcanoes. Included is a mock min-market that shakes to simulate an earthquake. It wasn’t working when I was there. How come they always turn off the dangerous stuff whenever I arrive ? It’s a mystery to me.
Near the elevator, on the ground floor, you can meet one’s ancestral relatives. The top row is the present and then seven rows of one million years each. Spot anybody that you know ?. To read the labels, click on the image and then again to magnify.
Unfortunately the dinosaur gallery was closed during my visit, but there were a few on show.
This little tyke is animated. Noticeably breathing and occasionally moving in his/her sleep.
The Cynognathus was supposedly about the size of a dog. If that’s true, I wonder if Lord Baskerville knows it’s out.
Aka, prehistoric stick insect.
“My mother always said you were a skinflint, look at me when I’m talking to you and when are you going to fix that shelf and stop calling me beaky”. “Aaaarg”
The Baler Shell, so-called because it is very useful for baling out canoes (honest).
There are loads of stuffed animals. I picked just one.
The Dodo bird, it is reported, became extinct because it was not sufficiently afraid of mankind. There’s a lesson in that somewhere.
I can take a hint.
The issue is now resolved. The petition was successful and Freedom of Panorama was saved. With thanks to all who participated.
A very important issue with a link to a vital petition, for residents and visitors who wish to photograph in Europe. It is not well known that the right to photograph in Europe could soon be severely restricted. The petition already has more than 150,000 supporters (on 1 July 2015) but needs more. Your help will make a difference. A link to the petition is below.
The European Parliament might destroy photography as we know it by taking away the Freedom of Panorama. That means public buildings and other works of art in public spaces will have a copyright and you need to ask permission to publish photos taken in European cities.
To demonstrate what it might look like, I prepared a photo of Berlin, where I removed the Reichstagsgebäude.
Here is a link to a petition where you will also find more information.
21 pics. Entry to the Victoria and Albert Museum is free. The museum is dedicated to art and design from around the world. The items here are just a few of many hundreds on display and non-commercial photography is allowed except for the wedding dress exhibit and the wonderful jewel room. There is also a large inner courtyard with water feature that makes a great place for lunch. Packed lunches can be eaten in the Learning Center’s Lunch room on the 3rd floor . The museum map. The website.
At the museum entrance there are steps that speak.
Click on Copyright⇐ or at at top right of page. 14 pics. Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, was much missed by the queen when he died. Victoria was taken by long years of mourning and fell into a long period of personal decline. Part of the queen’s tribute to the prince are the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall. The memorial can be found on Google maps at the southern end of Kensington Gardens. The Royal Albert Hall is just across the road.
The Albert Memorial
14 pics. Kew Palace is within the grounds of Kew Gardens and entrance is included in the price of admission to the gardens. Non-commercial photography is permitted inside the palace but without the use of flash.
The gardens and its many attractions were created by Lady Augusta following the death of her husband Prince Frederick. She was much influenced in this endeavor by Lord Bute. A portrait of the lady can be found further down.
20 pics – Danson House and park are near Bexley Heath just a few miles east of London. The park includes a boating lake with rowing boats for hire, a water-sports center, the Danson Stables public house/restaurant, a very well equipped children’s play area and the elegant interiors of Danson House where photography is allowed.
The house includes very pleasant tea rooms, a spiral staircase, three very ornate rooms on the first floor and an exhibition on the second floor. During my visit the exhibition was of beds.
The house was originally built in 1766 and the paintings are from that period. Refurbished and opened by the present queen in 2005.
Olde English Garden
Part of the Park and Boating Lake
The interior of Hall Place may see a little empty at first, but it does give the impression of being recently vacated and still vibrant with the presence of it’s previous occupants. One might imagine the graceful elegance of past days, romance and gentle intrigue. More about Hall Place, admission and gardens can be found here.
Above is a view of the hall from the side gallery and below is the musician’s gallery as seen from the floor of the main hall.