Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Farringdon walk, London

I joined Environment Bromley for a walk around Farringdon in London. Farringdon is a historic area in the Borough of Islington.

We started at Farringdon Station. It was quite a fast walk, so not a great deal of time for good photos! We went past Smithfields Market. Livestock and meat have been sold here for 1000 years. This building opened in 1868.

I like the shape of this corner building at the end of Smithfields. There is a similar one at the back - 

Sutton's hospital in Charterhouse. Established 1371 as a Carthusian Monastery. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1537 it became a Tudor mansion. 1611 Thomas Sutton bought it and set up almhouses & a chapel. Now houses 40 male pensioners known as “The Brothers”.

St John's Gate. The south gate of the Grand Priory of St John, built 1504. It later became a printing works and Samuel Johnston worked here.  In 1870 the Order of St John took over as the ambulance brigade HQ & now houses a museum.

Modern design at St John's Gate -

Near St John’s Gate. Lovell & Christmas, and Passing Alley -

Note the roof garden on this modern place-

St James Clerkenwell Church. Originally the site of the Nunnery of St Mary, 1100-1539. The present building dates to 1792. The churchyard has graves of about 500 Protestant Martyrs.

I like the brick work on these buildings -

Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer. Built on the site of the Spa Fields Chapel, this 1888 structure is now C of E. It is the only Italian style basilica  church in London.

Laboratory Building. Water Testing Laboratories of the Metropolitan Water Building  built 1936-38. Taken over by Thames Water 1973, converted to flats in the 1990s. The small pond is the New River Head, but the river is now underground. It comes from Amwell in the north. The New River is quite historical, see Thames Water. Sadler’s Well theatre is next to the Laboratory Building.

Red Lion Theatre Pub, at The Angel, Islington. There has  been a pub on this site since 1415. The present building dates from 1899 and a small studio theatre was added in 1979.

The Angel is also a property in the game of Monopoly, named after the historic buildings here.
Part of the Regent's Canal, at The Angel -

Ironmonger Row baths. Built 1931 as a public wash house & later upgraded to a Turkish Bath, with steam rooms, cold pools, massage slabs etc. There is a swimming pool more than 30 m long. Now it is a gym, refurbished in 2012.

This salvaged facade is from the remains of buildings occupied by goldsmiths on this site that were damaged in The Blitz.

By now it was time for lunch. We went to Kennedy, a well known fish restaurant in Goswell Road. Goswell Road used to be called Goswell Street - this is where Mr Pickwick of Pickwick Papers lived!
Note the wall tiles and wood floor. The fish and chips were really good - and the restaurant serves wine and beer!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Longleat Festival of Lights 2016

The main purpose of going to Longleat in Nov 2016 was for the festival of lights celebrating Longleat's 50th anniversary of the safari park opening to the public.

The lights started coming on at dusk. Firstly we went to Nature's Kingdom

And the Wildlife Corner

Next was the Arctic Experience Augmented Reality. Polar bears led the way into a large hall and we all stood in a group and on the large screen in front of us it appeared as if we were standing on an ice berg. As we stood there, a polar bear, a whale, a seal and penguins appeared and interacted with us. It was quite incredible. (See more on Vimeo)

Back out into the cold to Arctic Corner -

Then to the lanterns and flowers and tree at the centre square

The tree in the house courtyard

We then headed past the pumpkins and flowers

And into the main attraction of Beatrix Potter. "this year as part of the Festival of Light you can enter her enchanting world and see it as it’s never been seen before. Walk through this timeless world with Peter Rabbit and his friends to guide you. But beware as Mr McGregor has his eyes on you as you explore his illuminated garden." [Longleat]


 The lake -

The anniversary cake and party characters -

 The peacocks had moving heads -

We then went to the main tree for the 'Enchanted Christmas Tree Show'. This was fascinating. "Using state-of-the-art, multimedia technology and breath-taking projections, this winter our dazzling tree will take you on an enchanting journey and tell the story of the real meaning of Christmas."
Images and scenes were projected onto the mail wall of the building and throughout the lights on the 50 ft tree were changing colours.

After this it was time to go home. It was only then that we saw the main entrance, it has "eight unique and majestic lion lanterns; commemorating our very first residents back in 1966. As you continue on your journey, you’ll be transported into the world of our animals; come face to face with intricate porcelain giraffes, stunning silk elephants and even giant gorillas."

See also Longleat house and gardens and the safari park.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission