Arts and Crafts Movement

January 18th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London

Philip Webb's Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philip Webb’s Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath, Greater London © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan (the Mingei movement) in the 1920s. It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. It had a strong influence on the arts in Europe until it was displaced by Modernism in the 1930s, and its influence continued among craft makers, designers, and town planners long afterwards. The term was first used by T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at a meeting of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1887, although the principles and style on which it was based had been developing in England for at least twenty years. It was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin, writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris. The movement developed earliest and most fully in the British Isles, and spread across the British Empire and to the rest of Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the perceived impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.   read more…

West End of London

January 11th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Piccadilly Circus © flickr.com - Jimmy Baikovicius/cc-by-sa-2.0

Piccadilly Circus © flickr.com – Jimmy Baikovicius/cc-by-sa-2.0

The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End), is an area of Central London, west of the City of London and north of the River Thames, in which many of the city’s major tourist attractions, shops, businesses, government buildings and entertainment venues, including West End theatres, are concentrated. Use of the term began in the early 19th century to describe fashionable areas to the west of Charing Cross. The West End covers part of the boroughs of Westminster and Camden.   read more…

Westminster Abbey in London

August 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, seen from London Eye © Tebbetts

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, seen from London Eye © Tebbetts

Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and, later, British monarchs. The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of EnglandRoyal Peculiar“—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.   read more…

Temple Church in London

May 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© geograph.org.uk - John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

© geograph.org.uk – John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Temple Church is a late 12th-century church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. During the reign of King John (1199–1216) it served as the royal treasury, supported by the role of the Knights Templars as proto-international bankers. It is jointly owned by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, bases of the English legal profession. It is famous for being a round church, a common design feature for Knights Templar churches, and for its 13th and 14th century stone effigies. It was heavily damaged by German bombing during World War II and has since been greatly restored and rebuilt. The area around the Temple Church is known as the Temple and nearby formerly in the middle of Fleet Street stood the Temple Bar, an ornamental processional gateway. Nearby is the Temple Underground station.   read more…

Chelsea in London

March 7th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Clabon Mews © flickr:com - Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Clabon Mews © flickr:com – Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Chelsea is an affluent area in West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above Sloane Square tube station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King’s Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea. The football club Chelsea F.C. is based at Stamford Bridge in neighbouring Fulham.   read more…

The Savile Row in London

February 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Savile Row is a street in Mayfair, central London. Known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men, the street has had a varied history that has included accommodating the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society at 1 Savile Row, where significant British explorations to Africa and the South Pole were planned; and more recently, the Apple Corps office of the Beatles at 3 Savile Row, where the band’s final live performance was held on the roof of the building. Savile Row runs parallel to Regent Street between Conduit Street at the northern end and Vigo Street at the southern. Linking roads include New Burlington Place, New Burlington Street, Boyle Street, and Clifford Street.   read more…

Strawberry Hill House

August 28th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, London, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© panoramio.com - Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

Strawberry Hill House—often called simply Strawberry Hill—is the Gothic Revival villa that was built in Twickenham, London by Horace Walpole (1717–1797) from 1749 onward. It is the type example of the “Strawberry Hill Gothic” style of architecture, and it prefigured the nineteenth-century Gothic revival. Walpole rebuilt the existing house in stages starting in 1749, 1760, 1772 and 1776. These added gothic features such as towers and battlements outside and elaborate decoration inside to create “gloomth” to suit Walpole’s collection of antiquarian objects, contrasting with the more cheerful or “riant” garden. The interior included a Robert Adam fireplace; parts of the exterior were designed by James Essex. The garden contained a large seat shaped like a Rococo sea shell; it has been recreated in the 2012 restoration.   read more…

Design Museum London

July 7th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London, Museums, Exhibitions

© designmuseum.org

© designmuseum.org

The Design Museum is a museum founded in 1989, originally located by the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London, and later relocated to Kensington. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The museum operates as a registered charity, and all funds generated by ticket sales aid the museum in curating new exhibitions. Entrance is expected to be free to the museum’s permanent collection display, “Designer Maker User”. In June 2011 Sir Terence Conran donated £17.5 million to enable the Museum to move in 2016 from the warehouse to a larger site which formerly housed the Commonwealth Institute in west London. This landmark from the 1960s, a Grade II* listed building that had stood vacant for over a decade, was developed by a design team led by John Pawson who made the building fit for a 21st century museum, whilst at the same time retaining its spatial qualities.   read more…

Trafalgar Square in London

June 7th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© flickr.com - Vibin/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Vibin/cc-by-2.0

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar. The site of Trafalgar Square had been a significant landmark since the 13th century and originally contained the King’s Mews. After George IV moved the mews to Buckingham Palace, the area was redeveloped by John Nash, but progress was slow after his death, and the square did not open until 1844. The 169-foot (52 m) Nelson’s Column at its centre is guarded by four lion statues. A number of commemorative statues and sculptures occupy the square, but the Fourth Plinth, left empty since 1840, has been host to contemporary art since 1999. The square has been used for community gatherings and political demonstrations, including Bloody Sunday, the first Aldermaston March, anti-war protests, and campaigns against climate change. A Christmas tree has been donated to the square by Norway since 1947 and is erected for twelve days before and after Christmas Day. The square is a centre of annual celebrations on New Year’s Eve. It was well known for its feral pigeons until their removal in the early 21st century.   read more…

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