The home of the Bishops of London – Fulham Palace

Tucked away in south west London is the home of the Bishops of London since 704 AD.  Set in magnificent grounds close to the River Thames it is a secluded environment that manages to combine places for children to explore, historical interest and a great cafe - all in a country-side setting! Fulham Palace remained the [...]

Hampton Court Palace – home of England’s most famous king

Hampton Court Palace was the home of England's most famous king from 1529 until his death in 1547.   With sixty acres of gardens and 750 acres of parkland, it was King Henry VIII's weekend and summer retreat from London.    Successive monarchs also saw the appeal and the palace was occupied by monarch's of the Stuart [...]

The Royal Hospital Chelsea – historical buildings and the finest gardens

The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home to around 300 veterans of the British Army.    Located on a large site in Chelsea, it offers fabulous walks in the gardens, beautiful art and architecture and an intimate view into the retired lives of the service men and women who live there.    These former [...]

Style and grandeur at Chiswick House

One of London’s finest country homes is only a few miles west of central London.   Chiswick House was the centre of highly select gatherings of the Earl of Burlington’s family and friends in the 1730’s.   And around fifty years later it served the same purpose for the Duke of Devonshire and his sparkling (very ‘modern’) [...]

American art and literature in Tite Street, Chelsea

The district of Chelsea in the south west of London is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (royal owing to Kensington Palace). One particular street in Chelsea was almost an American enclave for artists and writers in the late Victorian period .   These included John Singer Sargent (between 1885 and 1925), James [...]

London’s finest terraced house!

Number 44 Berkeley Square is what Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural critic,  described as London’s finest terraced house.  Since then, the building has housed a famous casino and nightclub. The house was the original location of John Aspinall’s ‘Clermont Club’ (est. 1962) and (at the same time) Mark Birley's ‘Annabels’ - the famous basement nightclub named [...]

The home of the first American Ambassador to Great Britain

In the north east corner of Grosvenor Square is a little-known and rather unique piece of American history.   Here is the home of the 1st American Minister to Great Britain!   You may not immediately know who that was?   He was later to become the 2nd President of the United States.   It is John Adams.   He [...]

London’s most fascinating district – Whitechapel

Following the previous post on Spitalfields, we explore the neighbouring area of Whitechapel – starting with one of its most notorious characters. The Whitechapel Murders These murders, assumed to be the horrific deeds of ‘Jack the Ripper’ shocked London and the world.   The murders happened over three months in the autumn of 1888.   And today, [...]

England’s Lake District in the life and legacy of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was born on the 28th July 1866 in South Kensington, London.  She died, 77 years, later in the village of Sawrey in the Lake District, Cumbria.   At the time of her death, she had made a fortune writing books for children.  She left fourteen farms and 4000 acres of land to the National [...]

Red House – The Arts and Crafts home of William Morris

William Morris was an influential designer and one of the leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement - that started in Britain before becoming a world-wide phenomenon.  This is the house where the movement started!   'Arts and Crafts' rejected plain mass produced household furniture and fittings in favour of ambitious, creative and bespoke designs [...]