Political landmarks in Westminster

Political landmarks in Westminster

The Parliament of the United Kingdom is renowned world-wide as being the 'mother of all parliaments'  This post is a self-guided walk through the heart of political Westminster. The walk starts in Smith Square, Westminster, home to party HQ's, lobbyists and political associations and ends in Trafalgar Square.  It will take you around three hours, [...]

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 [...]

The history of the British Army at the National Army Museum

The history of the British Army at the National Army Museum

The National Army Museum in Chelsea exhibits artefacts about the history of the British Army, its impact on society and key conflicts from the British Civil War to the modern day. There are five galleries spread over four floors.  These are; Soldier, Army, Society, Battle and Insights.   The Soldier gallery asks us if we could join the [...]

Albert Bridge – ‘one of the beauties of the London river’

Albert Bridge in south west London, is one of the most attractive bridges crossing the River Thames.  It may not be as iconic as Tower Bridge downstream, but it’s actually older. Named in memory of Prince Albert, it provides access to Battersea Park which, disconcertingly for south Londoners today, was originally built for the wealthy [...]

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, subsequently seized by King Henry VIII at the Dissolution in 1536 and later [...]

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

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

London’s last great ducal residence

London’s last great ducal residence

Syon House, near Brentford, is home of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland.   It sits in a 200 acre estate on the River Thames in Middlesex. The house we see today was built by Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset in 1547, refurbished and enhanced by the Scottish architect Robert Adam in the 1760's and refaced in [...]

The ghosts of Tower Hill

The ghosts of Tower Hill

Tower Hill is an open area of raised land just north of the Tower of London.   During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was the execution site for those incarcerated in the Tower in London.  It's believed around 125 people were executed, mostly by beheading.   At this time, only a few people (with Royal or [...]

The site of the world’s first national postal service

The site of the world’s first national postal service

This post describes a group of buildings near 'Cheapside' in the City of London; an area well-known as being associated with medieval London.   The area is also the site of the world's first national postal service that was established in the early part of the eighteenth century. The Royal Mail was originally established in Tudor [...]

Historic Kennington pub walk

Historic Kennington pub walk

  The district of Kennington is south of the River Thames in the borough of Lambeth.    It is Historic Kennington owing to its royal connections reaching back to Saxon and medieval times (its name means the 'Kings Town’). Kennington was the location of the palace of the Black Prince, eldest son of King Edward [...]