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Ancient and Modern

Posted by fairbankguy on 20th May 2018 in History | art-deco,eltham,english-heritage,palace,tudor,henry viii,edward iv
In southeast London lie the remains of what was once a favourite palace of a young King Henry VIII, his father and grandfather. Eltham palace dates back to the 1300s, when it was given to Edward II. In the 1470s Edward IV had a grand hall built - it was where he spent his last Christmas in 1482 - but by the 1600s this moated manor had gone out of fashion. It took a member of the textile magnates, the Courtaulds, to transform it into a place of luxury, with all the latest designs and gadgetry. For the last 20 years English Heritage have looked after it, and on a sunny spring day it is a glorious site. Eltham palace is very much a palace of two halve...
 

A palace of Riches

Posted by Guy Fairbank on 16th December 2020 in History | richmond,surrey,henry vii,henry viii,elizabeth i,shene,sheen,tudor
...Henry’s palace was a showpiece of the kingdom. The royal apartments faced the river, and made a handy halfway stop between Westminster and Windsor. The rooftops were dotted with pepper pot chimneys, which not only looked eye-catching but ensured Henry and his courtiers lived in comfortable accommodation. Its layout resembled Hampton Court palace, with a series of courtyards, with the largest courtyard accessed by the Middle Gate, which was adorned with figures of trumpeters.  Around its perimeter lay a series of brick buildings, which housed court officials. To the east was the privy garden, which had a gallery running alongside it. This was a real n...
 

Ding Dong!

Posted by fairbankguy on 30th July 2015 in Government & Organisation | parliament,elizabeth tower,big ben,tower,westminster,houses of parliament,charles barry,pugin
...Thanks to my fellow City of London Guide Lindsay Schussman, today I enjoyed a visit to The Elizabeth Tower, part of the palace of Westminster, which houses Big Ben. It’s a stiff climb up the 334 steps but it’s worth it! To see the famous bell and its 4 smaller companions, then hear them chime (wearing ear plugs!) was unforgettable. The 96m tower was designed by architect Charles Barry, assisted by the Gothic genius that was AWN Pugin. The bell itself was not the first one; that 16 tonne one, built in Stockton-on-Tees, was damaged, so the Whitechapel Foundry made a new one. The new 13.7 tonne bell was hauled up by hand, 63m up to the belfry....
 
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