Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for london

1,300 Years of Faith on Tower Hill

By Linda Tancs

All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the City of London, founded 300 years before the Tower of London by the Abbey of Barking in A.D. 675. Due to its proximity to the tower, it had handled (as one might suspect) many temporary burials for those beheaded at Tower Hill in bygone days. It survived the Great Fire of 1666 and extensive bombing during World War II and witnessed happier occasions like the marriage of U.S. President John Quincy Adams. You can download an audio tour on your smart phone, take a free guided tour between April and October or arrange a guided group tour at any time of the year.

Advertisements

An Anglo-American Gem in London

By Linda Tancs

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, spent nearly 16 years at 36 Craven Street near Trafalgar Square in the heart of London. The terraced, Georgian house, built circa 1730, is both architecturally and historically significant. Structurally, it holds a Grade I listing and retains a majority of original features, like the central staircase, lathing, 18th century paneling, stoves, windows, fittings, beams and brick. Historically, Franklin worked there during Revolutionary War times, and the dwelling served as the first de facto U.S. Embassy. Open to the public since 2006, the house is the world’s only remaining Franklin homestead.

Dickens’ House in Town

By Linda Tancs

“My house in town” is how Charles Dickens referred to 48 Doughty Street, the London home that bore witness to some of the writer’s seminal occasions, like the birth of his two eldest daughters and the writing of such best-loved works as Oliver Twist. Now the Charles Dickens Museum, his only remaining home in London houses the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of material relating to one of the world’s greatest storytellers, with over 100,000 items including furniture, personal effects, paintings, prints, photographs, letters, manuscripts and rare editions. Christmas at the Museum is a particularly festive highlight. Bedecked with holly and ivy, what better place to experience the rich traditions of a Dickensian Christmas than in the home of the author of A Christmas Carol!

The Brothers of Charterhouse Square

By Linda Tancs

The Charterhouse is a former Carthusian monastery in London, to the north of what is now Charterhouse Square. Since the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century the house has served as a private mansion, a boys’ school and an almshouse, which it remains to this day. The residents of the almshouse are known as “Brothers” and conduct tours of the grounds and buildings. The site upon which the Charterhouse stands was acquired in the middle of the 14th century as a burial ground for victims of the Black Death. Earlier this year the Charterhouse permanently opened to the public for the first time in its 660-year history. The centerpiece of your visit is the museum providing a chronology of the site’s history from the Black Death to the present.

A Roundabout View in London

By Linda Tancs

Located in the large, irregularly shaped island in the middle of the Hyde Park Corner roundabout in London, England, Wellington Arch offers panoramic views of the city from its balconies. Originally intended as an entrance to Buckingham Palace, it later became a victory arch proclaiming Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon. The facing masonry of Portland stone is capped off with the largest bronze sculpture in Europe, “Peace Descending on the Quadriga of War,” by Adrian Jones.

300 Years of Freemasonry

By Linda Tancs

Freemasonry began in medieval Europe as a guild for stonemasons who built the great castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Today it is one of the largest fraternal and charitable organizations in the world. The United Grand Lodge of England at Great Queen Street in London is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year. Their facilities include The Library and Museum of Freemasonry. Open to the public, it’s located on the first floor of Freemasons’ Hall, where guided tours of the Grand Temple and ceremonial areas are provided when the hall is not in use. The free museum displays one of the world’s largest collections associated with Freemasonry, including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture, clocks, jewels, regalia and items belonging to famous Freemasons like Winston Churchill and King George IV (the first Royal Grand Master). The closest tube stations are Holborn, Covent Garden and Leicester Square.

London’s Secret Garden

By Linda Tancs

Founded in 1673, Chelsea Physic Garden is one of London’s oldest botanic gardens. It contains a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants within its sheltering walls tucked away beside the Thames. True to its roots (no pun intended) as a training ground for apprentices in the identification and use of medicinal plants, its medicinal plant display is one of the largest in the world. The theme for 2017 is Weaves and Leaves: Fabrics and the Plants That Make Them. The garden is located between Royal Hospital Road and the Thames Embankment, a 15-minute walk from Sloane Square.

%d bloggers like this: