The great twelve livery companies

The great twelve livery companies

Livery companies were a powerful force in the medieval City of London. Starting as religious fraternities, they evolved to control the prices, wages and quality of the City's trades, and collectively aspects of local government. Today, there are 110 livery companies operating as charities - supporting education, research and welfare in their sectors throughout the [...]

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 1)

London’s best districts – Clapham (part 1)

This is part one of a two-part article on one of London’s best places to live. The article covers the sights to see in Clapham, South West London. You’ll discover compelling facts about the area, its residents and renowned architecture. Plus, an awesome selection of pubs and cafes to visit! Introduction Clapham is perhaps best [...]

A Mayfair pub walk

A Mayfair pub walk

Here is a pub-walk through one of London's most historical and well-heeled residential areas. Mayfair, named after its raucous annual fair, was purpose-built during the mid to late-1700's.   Many wealthy residents moved here from Soho - where they had lived after the devastating Great Fire of London of 1666. Sir Richard Grosvenor engaged Thomas Barlow [...]

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

The history of Hatfield House starts in 1485, when the Bishop of Ely (Cambridgeshire) constructed Hatfield Palace, today called the Old Palace. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-41), Hatfield Palace was acquired by King Henry VIII, passed down in sequence to his children; Edward, Mary and Elisabeth and then inherited by King James I [...]

Lincoln’s Inn Fields – training ground for the English Civil War

Lincoln’s Inn Fields – training ground for the English Civil War

Lincoln’s Inn Fields is named after the former recreation ground for lawyers learning and practising their profession at the adjacent Lincoln’s Inn - one of London's four Inns of Court still operating today. Originally, two separate fields, it was home to public executions before becoming a training ground for parliamentarian troops during the English Civil [...]

Charles Dickens’ London home and museum

Charles Dickens’ London home and museum

Note: COVID-19. The museum is now open five days a week, Wednesday to Sunday throughout December 2020. Book ahead, walk ups will be accommodated subject to availability. At the age of 25, Charles Dickens rented (as was normal practice of the day) a large home in Doughty Street, London.  He did this, just as his [...]

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

A self-guided walk in Spitalfields, London

Spitalfields is an historic area to the east of the City of London.   Since the 1660's, it has been the traditional first stop for immigrants arriving in London - and has suffered its share of poverty and destitution.   Today, however, the area is a melting pot of the creative industries, street art and bohemian residents.  [...]

Nonsuch Park – site of the ‘unequalled’ palace

Nonsuch Park is named after the 'unequalled' palace built for King Henry VIII in 1538.  Nonsuch Palace was the first great Renaissance building in England taking nine years to build and costing £24,000, a phenominal sum at that time. The palace passed to King Edward VI and then Queen Mary I, who sold it to [...]

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

Hatfield House and the Old Palace

Hatfield House (around twenty miles north of London) is home to two fascinating buildings.  A Jacobean stately home built by Robert Cecil (minister to King James I) and the 'Old Palace' - a Tudor brick building built by Cardinal Morton in 1485, seized by King Henry VIII at the Dissolution in 1536 and later used [...]

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

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.    The palace was occupied by monarch's of the Stuart and Hanoverian Royal Houses up until 1737. [...]