Are you getting so excited about the new Downton Abbey movie being released September 20th? I sure am! Oh, the drama, the characters, the opulence, the costumes and of course, the brilliant and witty remarks by the Dowager, Violet Crawley. Think you know all there is to know about the beloved aristocrats and their loyal servants? Invite some friends over, brew a pot of tea, serve some scones and test your knowledge with this Downton Abbey Trivia challenge!Continue Reading
From Greenwich we headed back to the cruise boat, this time disembarking at Westminster Pier.
Dusk turned to night and the evening became chilly.
John took this panoramic view
the Parliament Building in golden illumination
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower. The tower is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, renamed as such to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. The tower was completed in 1858.
Back in our hotel room, we watched an episode of Downton Abbey that our friends back home will have to wait until January to see.
So excited to share our next day…
the most special day of our trip!
High Altar Screen – Southwark cathedral, 1520 AD
The Great Screen
This magnificent screen was erected by Bishop Fox of Winchester in 1520. Although the general appearance of the screen, with three broad rich bands of carvings and statuary, is that of the original, most of the detail is from later periods.
Whether all the original statues were ever installed is uncertain, as the screen was completed within a decade of the Reformation when such statues were forbidden. The small carvings of the Lamb of God and the pelican (a badge of Bishop Fox) immediately above the rows of angels are probably original, as are some of the bases of the niches. The small carvings in the corners of the two doorways, showing hunting scenes, may also be original.
Model of the church and old Westminster Palace
The Humble Monument portrays Alderman Richard Humble and his two wives.
The Retro-choir, built from 1215-1260 and is the oldest complete part of Southwark Cathedral.
The Retro-choir is thought by many to be the loveliest part of the Cathedral, with superb spatial qualities. The design is 13th century Early English
view from the retro-choir down the south choir
the floor of the Retro-choir.
The Lady Chapel
south aisle nearing south west entrance
late afternoon sunbeams
outside Southwark Cathedral
Roman Road 1st century AD
Near the entrance to the cafe and shop is part of the archaeological excavations left open for public display. Excavations around Southwark Cathedral in 1999 revealed part of a Roman road, foundations of the original Norman Priory wall, a 13th century medieval stone coffin and part of a late 17th century ‘Delft’ pottery kiln made of brick, one of the few surviving arched kilns found in Europe. source
Finally, after walking more than seven miles this day, we relaxed and ate dinner in a pub near our hotel.
This day in London was filled with such splendor and beauty we could barely take it all in.
Among so many other things, I love London for the serendipitous moments. Slipping past a quiet courtyard, strolling past an interesting door or turning the corner and beholding an enchanting wall garden.
Across from St. Clement Danes is the Australian House. It is both Australia’s first diplomatic mission and the longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom.
This Tudor-style Prince Henry’s Room (top of the house) dates from 1610 and is one of the few buildings to survive the Great Fire of 1666. The top floor of the house was once an office for King Charles I’s son.
Continuing along, The Royal Courts of Justice stand impressively.
The Royal Courts of Justice houses both the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Designed by George Edmund Street, who died before it was completed, it is a large grey stone edifice in the Victorian Gothic style built in the 1870s and opened by Queen Victoria in 1882. It is one of the largest courts in Europe. It is located on the Strand within the City of Westminster, near the border with the City of London (Temple Bar) source
Further along, St. Paul’s Cathedral comes into view.
From Rick Steves: If you were standing here in September 1666, you’d see nothing but smoke and ruins. The Great Fire razed everything, including the original St. Paul’s Cathedral. Christopher Wren was hired to rebuild St. Paul’s and The City.
If you were standing here on December 30, 1940, the morning after a German Luftwaffe firebomb raid, you’d see nothing but a flat, smoldering landscape of rubble, with St. Paul’s rising above it, almost miraculously intact.
A quick selfie in front of this busy road and gorgeous cathedral.
the magnificent dome
Queen Anne statue stands in front of the Cathedral
The plinth is inscribed with these words: “The original statue was erected on this spot to commemorate the completion of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Francis Bird – sculptor.” “This replica of the statue of Queen Anne was erected at the expense of The Corporation of London In the year 1886, The Rt. Hon. Sir Reginald Hanson MA, FSA, Lord Mayor – Wm. Braham Esq., Chairman of the City Lands Committee”
Photos were not allowed in St. Paul’s Cathedral. The photos above were taken from the internet.
around the back
leaving St. Paul’s Cathedral toward the old Temple Bar in Patenoster square
outside the beautiful St. Paul’s
as we walked away
Onward from St. Paul’s, we walked to the Millennium Bridge.
The Millennium Bridge, officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge, is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames in London, linking Bankside with the City of London. It is located between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Mid-span on the Millennium Bridge with the dome of St. Paul behind us.
Crossing the Themes on foot with the enticing aroma of caramel-coated roasted peanuts permeating the air on another day of gorgeous weather! Could’t resist this delicious snack adding to our list of wonderful London memories 🙂
Can you believe that all of this was just part of our Saturday.
Heading to Bankside and lots to see along the Themes up next.
Don’t miss Buckingham Palace & The Royal Mews if you are planning a trip to London. Check the dates for when the palace is open to visitors. As one might imagine, Buckingham Palace is most beautiful and quite interesting to tour.
The Royal Mews are open all year to visitors and an enjoyable The Gold State Coach at the Royal Mews