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6 results for north america found within the Blog

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Bay of Plenty

Posted by Guy Fairbank on 12th May 2020 in History | hudson bay,trading,city of london,bishopsgate,canada,hudson's bay company,north america,radisson,charles II,hasilwood house,skinners,beaver,winnipeg
In the mid 1600s two Frenchmen, the grandly named Médard Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers (1618-1696) and his brother-in-law Pierre Ésprit Radisson (c. 1640-1710), were exploring the vast interior of what is now northern Canada. Working their way inland via the many rivers that flow into Hudson Bay, they came across a wealth of fur, in particular on a rodent with a large paddle-shaped tail and prominent teeth. “Ideal for coats,” they reported, and went to find a backer. Their fellow countrymen in Québec and France showed little interest but the English settlers were far more receptive.  The two intrepid trappers travelled to England and managed to ga...
 

Bath time, Londinium style

Posted by fairbankguy on 1st May 2017 in History | archaeology,city-of-london,roman
Under an undistinguished office block in Lower Thames Street, opposite the Custom House and below St Dunstan-in-the-East lies a hidden gem of Roman London: a Roman house and bathhouse. It lies some way back from the river but in its heyday this building complex would have overlooked the River Thames from its hillside location. It may have been a ‘mansio’, which offered comfortable accommodation to officials - a bit like the nearby Premier Inn! When you venture down there’s a surprising amount to see. What survives are the north and east wings of the L-shaped house but there’s no trace of the west wing. The east side was kept warm with u...
 

In a City Courtyard…

Posted by fairbankguy on 21st April 2018 in Christianity | archaeology,ww2,agatha christie,vintners,foster lane,st vedast,wren,christopher wren
Within a stone’s throw of St Paul’s Cathedral stands the impressive church of St Vedast-alias-Foster. St Vedast was an obscure 6th century Flemish saint and Foster is the English corruption of that name, and on Foster Lane you’ll find this Wren church. The church itself is well worth a look inside, as it contains many 17th century furnishings which have been taken from other City churches. The steeple is very fine too. It’s been attributed to Nicholas Hawksmoor but there’s no actual evidence. What marks the church out is what is found to the north of the entrance. Fountain Court is a charming little garden, hidden away from the hustle...
 

Waltham’s Cross

Posted by fairbankguy on 25th October 2016 in sculpture |
A few miles north of London, just off the M25, lie the market towns of Waltham Abbey and nearby Waltham Cross. Both settlements have seen better days but they’re full of history that stretches back 1,000 years. Waltham Cross takes its name from one of the Eleanor Crosses that King Edward I erected after his wife Eleanor of Castile (d. 1290) died at Harby, Nottinghamshire.    Eleanor and Edward were happily married for 36 years and she bore him 14 children. When she died he was devastated and planned to erect a series of funeral monuments, wherever the funeral cortege stopped on its way to Westminster Abbey. Of the 12 he erected, from...
 

River Rubbish

Posted by fairbankguy on 8th April 2017 in History | roman
When the Romans arrived in Britain in AD43 they looked for a place to found a settlement along the Thames. A patch of high ground to the north, between two rivers, was the ideal spot - and so the city of Londinium was founded. Those rivers were the Fleet and Walbrook, two sources of drinking water. Today you can still follow the courses of those lost rivers: the Fleet flows into the Thames at Blackfriars, while the Walbrook begins around Finsbury Circus and ends up going down Dowgate, by Cannon Street.The Walbrook may originally have acted as a sort of boundary. Whatever its purpose was, this waterlogged valley has preserved some remarkable finds un...
 

A Gem of a Gallery

Posted by fairbankguy on 1st June 2018 in Christianity | diamond-jubilee,funeral-effigies,monarchy,treasures,westminster,westminster-abbey
High in the triforium, some 16m above the nave of Westminster Abbey, are The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. It’s accessed by the Weston Tower, designed by Surveyor to the Fabric Ptolemy Dean and the first structural addition to the 1,000 year-old Abbey since the 1700s.  As you ascend the 108 steps look for the 17 bands of stone used in its construction, which includes Purbeck marble, Reigate stone, Kentish ragstone and Caen stone - different building material used throughout the Abbey’s history.  When you finally reach the top you’re in for a treat, for here the Abbey has on display some of its finest treasures. The galleries are div...
 
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