Lancaster House in London

18 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Gryffindor

© Gryffindor

Lancaster House (originally known as York House and then Stafford House) is a mansion in the St James’s district in the West End of London. It is close to St James’s Palace, and much of the site was once part of the palace complex. This Grade I listed building> is now managed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.   read more…

Fleet Street in London

6 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - sludgegulper/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – sludgegulper/cc-by-sa-2.0

Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which the street was named.   read more…

Bevis Marks Synagogue in London

6 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London Reading Time:  13 minutes

Clock outside the Bevis Marks Synagogue © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-4.0

Clock outside the Bevis Marks Synagogue © Ethan Doyle White/cc-by-sa-4.0

Bevis Marks Synagogue, officially Qahal Kadosh Sha’ar ha-Shamayim (“Holy Congregation Gate of Heaven”), is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom in continuous use. It is located off Bevis Marks, Aldgate, in the City of London. The synagogue was built in 1701 and is affiliated to London’s historic Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community. It is a Grade I listed building. It is the only synagogue in Europe which has held regular services continuously for more than 300 years.   read more…

Grimsby in Lincolnshire

26 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  21 minutes

Town Hall © geograph.org.uk - Stephen Richards/cc-by-sa-2.0

Town Hall © geograph.org.uk – Stephen Richards/cc-by-sa-2.0

Grimsby, also Great Grimsby, is a port town and the administrative centre of North East Lincolnshire, England, on the south bank of the Humber Estuary close to the North Sea. It was the home port for the world’s largest fishing fleet by the mid-20th century, but fishing then fell sharply. The Cod Wars denied UK access to Icelandic fishing grounds and the European Union used its Common Fisheries Policy to parcel out fishing quotas to other European countries in waters within 200-nautical-mile (370 km) of the UK coast. Grimsby has since suffered post-industrial decline, but food production has risen since the 1990s. The Grimsby–Cleethorpes conurbation acts as a cultural and economic centre for much of north and east Lincolnshire. Grimsby people are called Grimbarians; the term codhead is also used jokingly, often for football supporters. Great Grimsby Day is 22 January. Grimsby is also the second largest settlement by population in Lincolnshire after Lincoln, with Scunthorpe being the third largest. The main sectors of the economy are ports and logistics, food processing, specifically frozen foods and fish processing, chemicals and process industries and digital media. Cleethorpes to the east has a tourist industry. To the west along the Humber bank to Immingham there has been large-scale industrial activity since the 1950s, around chemicals and from the 1990s gas-powered electricity generation.   read more…

Dissolution of the monasteries

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  28 minutes

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

The dissolution of the monasteries, occasionally referred to as the suppression of the monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland, expropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). While Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-general and Vice-regent of England, is often considered the leader of the Dissolutions, he merely oversaw the project, one he had hoped to use for reform of monasteries, not closure or seizure. The Dissolution project was created by England’s Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley, and Court of Augmentations head Richard Rich. Professor George W. Bernard argues that:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.

  read more…

The Golden Hinde

1 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Jose L. Marin/cc-by-2.5

© Jose L. Marin/cc-by-2.5

Golden Hind was a galleon captained by Francis Drake in his circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. She was originally known as Pelican, but Drake renamed her mid-voyage in 1578, in honour of his patron, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose crest was a golden hind (a female red deer). Hatton was one of the principal sponsors of Drake’s world voyage. A full-sized, seaworthy reconstruction is in London, on the south bank of the Thames.   read more…

Woolacombe in Devon

13 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Adrian Pingstone

© Adrian Pingstone

Woolacombe is a seaside resort on the coast of North Devon, England, which lies at the mouth of a valley (or ‘combe’) in the parish of Mortehoe. The beach is 2 miles (3.2 km) long, sandy, gently sloping and faces the Atlantic Ocean near the western limit of the Bristol Channel. Woolacombe is a popular destination for surfing and family holidays and is part of the North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The beach has been managed by Parkin Estates Ltd since the 1970s and has over the years been recognised as one of the best beaches in Europe. It won the title of Britain’s Best Beach in the “Coast Magazine Awards 2012” and was awarded the same prize of Britain’s Best Beach in 2015 by TripAdvisor, also ranking in their polls as 4th in Europe and 13th best in the world. The beach water quality is monitored regularly by the Environment Agency and was rated excellent from 2016 to 2020.   read more…

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

1 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  27 minutes

Holy Island © flickr.com - Chris Combe/cc-by-2.0

Holy Island © flickr.com – Chris Combe/cc-by-2.0

Lindisfarne, also called Holy Island, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England, which constitutes the civil parish of Holy Island in Northumberland. Holy Island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD; it was an important centre of Celtic Christianity under Saints Aidan of Lindisfarne, Cuthbert, Eadfrith of Lindisfarne and Eadberht of Lindisfarne. After the Viking invasions and the Norman conquest of England, a priory was reestablished. A small castle was built on the island in 1550.   read more…

Canterbury Cathedral in England

4 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  15 minutes

© Hans Musil/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Hans Musil/cc-by-sa-4.0

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century when they were demolished to make way for the present structures. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the archbishop.   read more…

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