A Photographers & Visitors Guide & Timeless Stories

Posts tagged “elizabeth I

St Augustine’s, One Tree Hill and the Oak of Honor

One Tree Hill is named after the Oak of Honor ⇒ and is a small nature reserve with St Augustine’s Church, the oak and a fine view across London.

The easiest way to get to One Tree hill and St Augustine’s is by the P12 bus from Honor Oak Park rail station to the top of the hill by road.  There is a path on the opposite side of the road which passes the Maha Lakshmi Vidya Bhavan.

There is an alternative route via Peckham Rye Park and Nunhead Cemtery here ⇐.

The path leads first to :-


 St Augustine’s Church

The church was built between 1870 and 1900 and has some fine architecture and stained glass.  It is open in the afternoon during the summer months and is always open on a Saturday morning.  More ⇒.  Please check the website for services and events before you visit.

St Augustine ⇒ (354 AD to 430 AD) was an early Christian theologian and philosopher.

These walls aren’t really speckled.  The effect is the consequence of an unusual mix of ambient light and a high ISO camera setting necessary for the dark alcove without flash.  I thought it was a pleasing effect so I left it in.

One Tree Hill

On retracing one’s footsteps there is a set of steps leading to the top of the hill and the Oak of Honor. 

If you think I’m climbing up there just to get a few photographs, then you must be ~

what ! no, stop that, get off.

Pesky elves. I wish they wouldn’t do that.

Oh well, since I’m here.

The Oak of Honor

This Oak of Honor ⇒ was planted in 1905 and is the third on that site.  The original oak marked the southern boundary of a region known as the Norman Honor of Gloucester ⇒ which began its existence in 1166.

Legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I took rest under an oak on the hill when she went a-maying in 1602.  Alternatively she had a picnic with Sir Richard Bulkeley on 1st of May. A-maying could have a variety of meanings including being quite frolicsome. 🙂

As an aside: The spelling of Honor, rather than the usual English spelling of Honour, derives from the antiquity of the place.  Early English favored “or” rather than “our” for many words.  These earlier spelling were transported to the Americas and remain in use.  England seems to have developed and favoured the alternatives due to a continued influx of languages.

Near to the oak is a fine view across London from One Tree Hill’s southern position.

The oak and view are at position 1 on the map.  To enlarge the map please click on and then gain to magnify.

The park proceeds down the far side of the hill to Brenchley Gardens where one can board the P12 bus again.  The bus can be used to go back to Honor Oak Park rail station (traveling West and then back up the hill) or the other way to Nunhead Cemetery or Peckham Rye Park (later posts).

Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the tour.

The Queen’s House Interior at Greenwich


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




The Great Hall Ceiling


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




The Artwork

This is just a small sample.


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.





The Thames and Greenwich Hospital by Moonlight by Henry Pether





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.  


A Ships Figurehead







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. 


In All Their Glory

Saints Genevieve and Appollonia and Saints Christina and Ottilia by Lucas Cranach the Elder at the National Gallery

Saints Genevieve and Appollonia and Saints Christina and Ottilia by Lucas Cranach the Elder at the National Gallery

11 pics. Paintings on this blog have been enhanced a little to compensate for lighting/age, but not so much that a visitor to the venue would be disappointed by the original.  However, the camera can show what time has hidden.  In turn, that shows why some of these works began with such renown.  A renown that they carried forward into the present, even as they lost their original appearance.

Here is an attempt to show each of these pictures at their best.  Mostly by extraction of detail from darkened areas together with a little colour enhancement.

To view the detail, please click on an image and then again to magnify.

Elizabeth I by Steven van Herwijck at the Tate Britain

Elizabeth I by Steven van Herwijck at the Tate Britain

This one particularly caught my eye because the artist had managed to capture the texture and shading of a velvet dress.  We take for granted that such can be shown in a photograph, but to do so with paint is a marvelous achievement.

The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Mallord William Turner at the National Gallery

The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Mallord William Turner at the National Gallery

Turner’s work is more evocative than detailed, but it does capture one’s senses.

Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba by Claude at the National Gallery

Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba by Claude at the National Gallery


The Decline of Carthage by Turner at the Tate Britain

The Decline of  Carthage by Turner at the Tate Britain


Market Scene by Night by Petrus van Schendel at the Queen’s Gallery

I chose this one because the candle flare, the glow on the faces and shadowy figures in the background all add to a sense of being there.

A Village Revel by Jan Steen at the Queen's Gallery

A Village Revel by Jan Steen at the Queen’s Gallery

Every face has an expression that could tell a tale.  Especially ‘im with the cheeky grin at the bottom.

The Horses of Achilles in the style of Anthony van Dyke at the National Gallery

The Horses of Achilles in the style of Anthony van Dyke at the National Gallery

A mythical horse followed by a mythical lady.  Both may attune to our extra senses.

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse at the Tate Britain

The Lady of Shalott has been brought out just enough to see the depth of paint used for the texture of the background trees.  Perhaps what is so striking about this work is how Waterhouse used variations of colour intensity to draw one’s eye to the central scene then more to the lady and then yet more to her face.  A face and expression which well suits the story in the poem ⇒ .


Carnival Masks at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

Carnival Masks at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

The designer of these will probably never know such acclaim as those above.  But I think, in good company with all those who care about their work and try to create something for the enjoyment of others.

Thanks for the visit and I hope you found it pleasing to your eye.

More artwork (all free to visit) at the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain, Wallace Collection and Kenwood House. There is also the Queen’s Gallery which does charge for entry.

Hatfield House and Gardens

Hatfield House,Flower

There is a lot of history and a lot to see at Hatfield House.  This is just a sample.   I’ve started with this flower because it is the most regal that I have seen.  You might also like to view the amazing interiors and some of its Elizabethan history by clicking here.

Inside the house are the famous Rainbow and Ermine portraits of Elizabeth I, together with a  number of ornate ceilings and artifacts.


For instance, this is Lord Burghley who created and ran what was probably the first organized intelligence service.


Hatfield House, Village



. Access from Hatfield rail station is via a viaduct (I’ve always wanted to say that) that spans over a village.
Hatfield House, Old House and Garden

Further into the estate is the old house and gardens.
Hatfield House

This is the rear view of the newer house.
Hatfield House,Church

Across the green is the old church.
Hatfield House,Square

And, nearby is a path leading to the church which is open to visitors for part of the day.
Hatfield House,Tudor Cottage

In the church grounds there is this Tudor cottage.
Hatfield House,Inside Church

And, inside the church the ceiling is being restored.
Hatfield House,Gardens

There are a number of gardens and water features.
Hatfield House,Fountain

Hatfield House, Group Statue

Meet the crew.  There are several statues but I thought this was the best and appears to feature Queen Elizabeth I herself.
Hatfield House,Shop

There is quite an extensive shopping mall with a gallery, large cafe and this.  A toy shop and gun shop side by side. What can I say, it’s the countryside.  Here are some flowers.
Hatfield House,Flower 3

Hatfield House,Flower 2

If you like history then Hatfield House is steeped in it.  More  here.

Hatfield House and Elizabeth I

17 pics. Hatfield House is one of the most historically significant places to photograph near London and The Grounds ⇐,  Extraordinary Chickens ⇐,  Hatfield House Website ⇒.

Upon an autumn day being 27th November 1558 beside an oak tree near to Hatfield House which was her home at the time, Princess Elizabeth Tudor was told that she had become Queen Elizabeth I of England, following the death of her elder half-sister Queen Mary I.

Elizabeth’s accession had not been a certainty. Queen Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary”, resented her own mother’s displacement as Henry VIII’s wife by Elizabeth’s mother Anne Boleyn. Queen Mary’s sobriquet stemmed from her attempt to return England to Catholicism by persecution of Protestants. Elizabeth was considered to have protestant leanings and likely to undo Mary’s efforts.

Fortunately Elizabeth was popular and had a number of powerful allies. Otherwise the whole future of Britain would have been changed and would have had a significant impact upon world history. Elizabeth’s reign of 44 years was known as a Golden Age with herself as “Gloriana” the virgin queen.

Portraits of Elizabeth started to include a variety of symbols which made them statements of intent and power and helped to establish the cult of Elizabeth. Here are two of them with some of the symbols explained, followed by images from within Hatfield House.

Elizabeth I Ermine Painting at Hatfield House


The Ermine Portrait shows Elizabeth holding an olive branch in her right hand signifying the offer of peace. Upon her left is an ermine wearing a crown as a collar and near her left hand the sword of state.

The ermine in the picture, with its black flecks, is a stylised version that indicates its heraldic significance that looks up to the queen.

An ermine is a stoat (short-tailed weasel) in its white winter coat. It represents purity and valour based upon an old legend that it would rather die than soil its white coat. Monarchs and peers had used the ermine to make cloaks. With several of the pelts sown together, the black tipped tails created a pattern of dark flecks. This then became an heraldic device of black flecks upon white.

Taken overall the message is that whilst Elizabeth offered peace, she was ready to use the sword, limited only by righteous regal purity.

Elizabeth I Rainbow Painting at Hatfield House

The Rainbow Portrait includes the Latin phrase “Non Sine Sole Iris” (No Rainbow Without Sun). Although in the last year of her reign, Elizabeth is depicted in her prime with flowery symbols of spring on her dress.

The dress is protected by a cloak that has eyes and ears both inside and outside. There is also a serpent on her arm that represents subtle wisdom and a powerful bite.

The rainbow in her right hand seems to have no colour. I have not found a commentator who explains this but does seem to be of significance.

Taken altogether this is Elizabeth as the source of nature’s beauty and light protected by an ability to hear and see everything and to act upon that knowledge.

One of the famous Queen Elizabeth I Armada paintings can be seen at The Queen’s House ⇐ in Greenwich. 

There have been many films depicting Elizabeth’s very dramatic life. My personal favourites are the 1998 film “Elizabeth” and the 2007 film “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” both starring Cate Blanchett and, I think, definitely worth seeing.

And, here is the house:-

Ornate Ceilijng at Hatfield House


Ornate Wardrobe at Hatfield House


Lord Cecil at Hatfield House


Ornate Clock at Hatfield House


Grandfather Clock at Hatfield House


Organ at Hatfield House


Staircase at Hatfield House


Ceiling at Hatfield House


Library at Hatfield House


Adam and Eve Painting at Hatfield House

There are a great many works of art in Hatfield House, this one took my interest because it shows that artists of the past had some curious notions or tried to create them.  In this picture of Eden there are people other than Adam and Eve and some of the animals are transparent.  Click on twice for a closer view.

Long Hall at Hatfield House


Armour at Hatfield House


Cicely Alice Marchioneess of Salisbury at Hatfield House

This painting of Cicely Alice (Marchioness of Salisbury) was painted about 1910.  I found it to be somewhat enigmatic.  Whilst I could not find any cause for it, if you click on twice to expand, it looks as if she is about to burst into tears.

Stained Glass at Hatfield House

More from the grounds ⇐.