The Ghost Of Thomas More's House In Chelsea - Part1

Written by Nika Garrett on .

The Ghost Of Thomas More's House In Chelsea - Part1

‘More’ wrote Erasmus, ‘hath built near London upon the Thames  a commodious house, neither mean nor subject to envy, yet magnificent enough; there he converseth with his family, his wife, his son and daughter-in-law, his three daughters and their husbands, with eleven grandchildren…’

In fact it appears that Erasmus never visited his friend in Chelsea, but Thomas More’s residence must have been comfortable enough to accommodate such a big household.  Nobody knows for sure what the residence and the land around looked like but a famous Knyff/Kip view of Chelsea shows the house and the gardens that once belonged to Thomas More. This image of 1690s identifies it as ‘The House  att Chelsea … of the Most Noble &Potent Prince Henry Duke of Beaufort…’ More’s former estate looks carefully planned with vast gardens where he would keep a small menagerie that  included rabbits, a monkey, a fox, a ferret, and a weasel and exotic birds. As it is often said, he was fond of watching their habits.

A Walk in Canary Wharf

Written by A. Maria Perez on .

A Walk in Canary Wharf

When Nika Garret, proposed me to write an article about a Spanish related historic place in London, I immediately thought of writing about Canary Wharf because of the multiple significances for me.

Being one of London's two main financial centres – along with the traditional City of London – and home to the world headquarters of numerous major banks, professional services firms and media organisations, I have always been fascinated with it. Canary Wharf had an undeniable historical and commercial relationship with Spain for more than forty years, more concretely, with the Canary Islands – where I was born – that had also left an important trace in the history, culture and language of the islands.

A View Of Greenwich By Canaletto

Written by Nika Garrett on .

A View of Greenwich by Canaletto

This article has been written for Dulwich on View.

I’m walking under the Thames through the tunnel that is less than a quarter of a mile long and lies 53 feet below the high water mark. I have spent a long day guiding in Greenwich so I’m taking it easy and making most of the lifts here rather than walking 100 steps downstairs or 88 steps upstairs.

It has been the third time over the last three days that I’m making this journey in attempt to take a photo of Greenwich from the Isle of Dogs on a bright sunny day. The weather has not been very kind. It is 6pm and the sun is out. Finally, I’d like to take a photo of Old Royal Naval College and think for a while what inspired Italian artist Canaletto back in 1750s to paint Greenwich. Right now it happens to be a sort of tea time for all the gulls, all too eager to be fed by tourists and possibly locals and the scene I see is more like from The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock. 

The Painted Hall In Old Royal Navy College In Greenwich

Written by Nika Garrett on .

The Painted Hall in Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich

The idea to buy a square foot of the Painted Hall was conceived at the back of my mind half way through the walk that will for long be remembered as a ‘windswept tour in Greenwich’. As I stood my group of visitors against the King Charles Court of Old Royal Naval College to offer them the minimum shelter against yet another gust of wind and rain, I felt deeply sorry for them… Surprisingly, the best wrapped up individual in the Grand Square was George II. You wouldn’t have recognised him easily for all the layers the statute was wearing. Someone did put a crown on his head though.

Braving the weather we stood later waiting for the Time Ball on the Royal Observatory to be hoisted half way up the mast at 12.55, all the way to the top at 12.58 and to be dropped exactly at 1pm – the highlight of the 12 15 guided walk.  Needless to say, the Time Ball was never hoisted that day due to the weather conditions.  The first Time Ball was made of leather and installed in 1833 and it did fall off once on a windy day in 1850s. The one we were hopefully staring at is made of aluminium and replaced the previous one in 1919.

Covent Garden At Christmas

Written by Nika Garrett on .

Covent Garden at Christmas

This post has been written by Cindy Eve from 3 DAYS IN LONDON

Covent Garden at Christmas time in London is abuzz with things to do! An historical site in London, Covent Garden is a mecca for tourists and Londoner's alike at any time of the year and especially at Christmas. 

This year besides the usual events like The Great Xmas Pudding Race, we have the UK's biggest LEGO Advent Calendar. It has been good fun to pop by and see what's in the next box; a delightful selection of scenes. Built by Duncan Titmarsh, the UK's only certified LEGO professional, the advent calendar which measures 5m wide, 3m high and 1 m in depth is made with over 600,000 LEGO bricks, features 30 different coloured bricks, has 24 windows and took 7 weeks to build. A new window opens each day at 4pm to reveal a 3D LEGO surprise. :) Pop along between now and the 24th to see what each window holds.