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Posted by fairbankguy on 25th November 2017 in Higher Education | art-deco,senate-house,ww2Dominating the leafy and literary area of Bloomsbury is the monumental Senate House. It’s part of the University of London and was built in the 1930s by that great architect of the London Underground, Charles Holden. It was built on land given by the Dukes of Bedford and funded by, amongst others, the Rockefeller family, Marks and Spencer and City livery companies. The shell of the building was made from steel, encased by hardy Portland stone, which has remarkable anti-pollution qualities: it’s only been cleaned twice in its 80 years. When it was completed in 1937 the Senate House was the tallest building (64m high) after St Paul’s an...
Posted by fairbankguy on 9th October 2016 in History | blitz,bomb-damage,bombing,second-world-war,staveley-road,v2,ww2Chiswick may be more famous for its eponymous Palladian house, Arts and Crafts Bedford Park and Fuller's Brewery but it’s also the site of the first recorded V2 rocket attack during the Second World War. On the evening of 8 September 1944, a rocket exploded in the middle of Staveley Road, Chiswick, outside number 5. Staveley Road lies just south of Chiswick House, the elegant mansion built in the 1720s for the 2nd Earl of Burlington by William Kent, and comprises a series of smart family houses constructed in the 1920s and 1930s. The explosion created a crater 9m in diameter and 2.5m deep. Three people were killed, including a 3 year-old...
Posted by fairbankguy on 21st April 2018 in Christianity | archaeology,ww2,agatha christie,vintners,foster lane,st vedast,wren,christopher wrenWithin 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...