St George, Shakespeare and the Dragon

st georges day
St George’s cute little dragon

The traditionally accepted date of Saint George’s death in 303 AD, April 23rd, is it seems an auspicious day….for not only is it recognised as St Georges Day (the patron saint of England) but it is also William Shakespeare’s birth and death day, and my birthday… ;)
Since 23 April 1616 was the date of death and possibly anniversary of birth of the English playwright William Shakespeare (according to the Julian calendar), UNESCO declared this day the International Day of the Book.

world book day
some of the London books that inspire and fascinate me

Celebrated by many other countries around the world, in fact St George is even mentioned in the will of Alfred the Great. England is not the only country to embrace our lad St George, many other countries celebrate St George’s Day too, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia as well as which a great number of cities including Genoa in Italy, Beirut in Lebanon, Qormi and Victoria in Malta, Moscow in Russia, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, amongst many others it’s also celebrated in the old Crown of Aragon in Spain — Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca. So we do indeed have much in common with many other parts of the world.
As for William himself, born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the date of his birth, although unknown, is universally accepted as 23rd April, he was baptised on 26 April 1564 during what became known as the Elizabethan era – 1558-1603.
London has paid homage to both men and you can find many statues, busts, stained glass windows and paintings featuring them both.

1. St Lawrence Jewry Church, City of London – St George

St George
St George

2. Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London – Shakespeare

englands greatest playwright William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

3. Leicester Square, City of Westminster – Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare in Leicester Square

4. Kingly Street, City of Westminster – St George

St George & the dragon - Kingly Street
St George & the dragon – Kingly Street

5. British Library, London Borough of Camden – Shakespeare

William Shakespeare at the British Library
William Shakespeare at the British Library

6. St Margaret Street, City of Westminster – Shakespeare

Shakesperian quote at Westminster
Shakesperian quote at Westminster

7. Dorset Rise, City of London – St George

St George
St George

9. St George’s Church, Bloomsbury

St George's church - Bloomsbury
St George’s church – Bloomsbury

10. St George’s Church, Southwark

St George's Church - Southwark
St George’s Church – Southwark

11. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre - Bankside
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – Bankside

12. The George Inn, Southwark  – my favourite pub

The delightful George Inn, Southwark
The delightful George Inn, Southwark

There are areas, hotels, buildings, universities, roads and a great number of Pubs named for St George and not just a few for Shakespeare….so wherever you go, keep your eyes peeled for these two lads…and as for me……I’ve been around ;) I started life in Johannesburg, South Africa and have since adopted the United Kingdom as my home, discovering to my surprise, the links to these two auspicious men. Here I am in London:
Trooping the Colour 2010

trooping to colour london 2011
me at trooping the colour 2010

The Royal Wedding 2011

royal wedding 2011
us two at the Royal Wedding 2011

The Green Man 2013

me and the green man
me and the Green Man

Jamie Oliver’s Britain’s forgotten foods, filming forThe Original Maids of Honour in Kew at Richmond Green 2013

richmond green 2013
enjoying the sun at the Jamie Oliver event Richmond Green for The Original Maids of Kew

The Tudor Pull 2014

tudor pull 2014
me on Verity at Tudor Pull 2014

The Shard 2014

the shard view
on the top of the world, The Shard View

I’ve no doubt there are many many more places where we could find these two gentlemen…..be sure to look out for them and when you do, join me on facebook and share your images.

Look out for the St Georges Day celebrations:

at Leadenhall Market, Thursday 23rd April with Ewell Morris Men Wandering Minstrel and St George!  Nearest station: Bank

and the Feast of St George at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 25th April – nearest stations: Charing Cross & Leicester Square

feast of st george trafalgar Square
St George & the Dragon – Feast of St George Trafalgar Square

Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today

3 days in london app free mobile app
FREE #3DIL App

for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon

for Apple Apps  http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon

 

 

Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday on the 21st April.

queen elizabeth ii
Queen Elizabeth II & Duke of Edinburgh at Trooping the Colour 2012

Our glorious Queen will be 89 this year and for an octogenarian she is remarkable…I’d be flat out exhausted with all the events she goes to!

buckingham palace changing of the guard
Changing the Guard

There will be the usual gun salutes at Green Park and Tower of London and if you can, do try to see the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace…the band usually plays ‘Happy Birthday’. I went last year (and going again this year!) and it’s terrific…..but do get there early, like about 9:30 to secure a good position at the railings if you want to watch the band in the courtyard…it’s a very popular event and gets crowded quite early.

 

happy birthday queen elizabeth ii
17 Bruton Street, Mayfair where Elizabeth, Alexandra, Mary was born on 21.04.1926

Born at born at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, near Berkeley Square, at 02:40am on 21 April 1926. Elizabeth was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York and christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace; named after her mother, Elizabeth, Duchess of York, her paternal grandmother Queen Mary and paternal great-grandmother Queen Alexandra.

Her father was the younger brother of Edward, Prince of Wales and at the time of her birth she was 3rd in line to the throne.

happy birthday queen elizabeth ii
The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom is the official armorial of Queen Elizabeth II.

It was never expected that Elizabeth would one day become Queen, and but for the abdication of Edward VIII her father the Duke of York, would probably not have become King VI.

Elizabeth was thrust into the role of Queen at the age of 25 when her father King George VI died.

The Queen has had a long and eventful reign, been through political as well as economic turmoil, both boom and bust, has seen off 12 Prime Ministers.

 

On the 9th (10th) September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II will be come the longest reigning monarch in British history…and will supersede Queen Victoria who is to date the longest serving Monarch. (The actual date/minute is under dispute due to leap years etc etc).

Queen Elizabeth is married to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and has 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren with another due to be born late April. (if it hasn’t already been born).

The Queen is Head of State of the United Kingdom as well as 15 Commonwealth countries.

Although 21st April is the day Elizabeth was born, her ‘Official’ birthday as Queen is celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in June with Trooping the Colour.

Check the events tab on the 3 Days in London App for details of the April Changing the Guard times.

Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today

3 days in london app free mobile app
FREE #3DIL App

for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon

for Apple Apps  http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon

 

 

Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+

St Bartholomew the Great – a Church in Smithfield

st bartholomew the great church spitalfields
St Bartholomew the Great, church in Spitalfields

London 2012, was a very good year. Not only did we have the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but we also had the Olympics and Paralympics in London. It was also the year I experienced the Dragon & Flagon Pub tours!! On one such tour we walked through the Smithfield area and along the way made a very brief stop in the grounds of St Bartholomew the Great Church; founded in 1123 as an Augustinian Priory, it has been in continuous use since at least 1143.

st bartholomew the great church smithfield
story boards in the Cloister Café

It was quite dark, and by the faint light of the streets lamps we got a glimpse of what looked like a most intriguing church. I had not up until then heard about this church, and although we did not tarry long and of course it was closed at the time, I made a pledge to return and explore during the daylight hours.

st bartholomew the great, historical churches in london, londons oldest church, things to see with 3 days in london
the tomb of Rahere

This I eventually did and discovered a most amazing and extraordinary church. Stepping into St Bartholomew’s is like stepping through the portals of time.

Rahere was a courtier and favourite of King Henry I.  It is thought that it was the death of the king’s wife Matilda, followed two years later by the drowning of their heir Prince William, his brother, half-brother and sister, that prompted Rahere to renounce his profession for a more worthy life and make his pilgrimage to Rome.

st bartholomew the great, historical churches in london, londons oldest church, things to see with 3 days in london
the story board

“In Rome, like many pilgrims, he fell ill. As he lay delirious he prayed for his life vowing that, if he survived, he would set up a hospital for the poor in London. His prayers were answered and he recovered. As he turned for home the vision of Saint Bartholomew appeared to him and said “I am Bartholomew who have come to help thee in thy straights.
I have chosen a spot in a suburb of London at Smithfield where, in my name, thou shalt found a church.”

st bartholomew the great, historical churches in london, londons oldest church, things to see with 3 days in london
what the church would have looked like in days gone by

In 1122 King Henry I grants a Royal Charter to found the priory – St Bartholomew the Great.

Once a thriving monastery that was dissolved by King Henry VIII, the church is one of the few that survived the Great Fire of 1666, and stands just beyond the perimeters of the Roman City wall in the bustling area of Smithfield’s, in itself an exceptionally historic area of London. Fascinating features remain

“During the Great Fire of 1666, the priory walls saved not only the gatehouse but also the vast majority of houses on nearby Cloth Fair. One of these surviving houses (no. 41) is still standing to this day.
The impression as you first enter the church is of a dark and gloomy cavern with a ceiling that soars loftily above your head, a gloom broken only by the sunlight that streams down from the windows set high in the walls and a number of cheery lamps dotted about the church. The church is filled with a number of fascinating memorials to people who died hundreds of years ago, a time capsule of history.

St Bartholomew’s has withstood dissolution, wars, plague, fires and bombs – the air is heavy with spirituality as the weight of it’s history presses down on you. Filled with wonder at this magnificent structure, I explored the church as thoroughly as I could, discovering nooks and crannies not immediately visible, and passageways that echoed with the sighs of the ghosts of the past.

St Bartholomew has more recently been the venue for one of the churches in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. Even if you are not religious, I can highly recommend that you visit this church, truly a extraordinary discovery. http://www.greatstbarts.com/ There is a small entry donation for visitors, a café where you could relax, enjoy the atmosphere and reflect on the extraordinary history of this remarkable church.

st bartholomew the great church smithfield
coloured glass windows looking out into the garden

The amazing gatehouse, a remnant of Tudor London

st bartholomew the great church smithfield
The Gatehouse – survivor of Tudor London

The gatehouse was used as a school between 1948 and 1979.
William Wallace was hanged, drawn and quartered within 100 metres of the site of the gatehouse.

While you are there, why not visit Great St Bartholomew Hospital just across the road. Affectionately known as St Barts, it’s link to the church go back to the time of Rahere who founded the hospital after recovering from a serious illness.  Above the entrance is the only statue of Henry VIII on public display in London, the statue was erected in this new gatehouse in 1702 to acknowledge that in 1546 Henry granted St Bartholomew’s Hospital to the City of London.

statue of king henry viii
the only statue of King Henry VIII in London; seen at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield’s

While you are there, visit Smithfield’s Market and explore the area, it’s fascinating.
Nearest tube station: Barbican
Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today

3 days in london app free mobile app
FREE #3DIL App

for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon

for Apple Apps  http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon

 

 

Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+

Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge 2015

The race before the race the Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge
takes place on Saturday 11th April 2015 at 3:30pm

oxbridge watermens cutters
The Watermen’s Cutters head downstream to the start line at Hammersmith Bridge

A two division race; the Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge, now precedes the Universities Boat Race each year.

oxbridge watermens challenge 2014
The Trinity Tide; Trinity House Watermen’s Cutter heads downstream to the start line

The inaugural Oxbridge Watermen’s Cutter race was held on Boat Race Day – 29th March 2009. Six crews battled it out for the honour of being the first to lift the Tallow Chandler Trophy for the Oxbridge Waterman’s Challenge.

oxbridge watermens challenge 2014
Trinity Tide crosses the finish line at Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge 2014

Using old 18th century-style Waterman’s Cutters decked out in traditional regalia, the Challenge is for four oared Watermen’s cutters in full regalia carrying a coxswain and two passengers (cox & both passengers to wear life-jackets) to battle it out; the trophies being competed for are:  The Tallow Chandler Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge Trophy for the fastest time.

oxbridge watermens challenge 2014
The Tallow Chandler’s Cutter ‘Dove’ crosses the finish line

The race starts at 3.30pm before the main event and the course is from Hammersmith Bridge to the finish line at Chiswick Bridge, Mortlake a course of 2.5 miles.

oxbridge watermens challenge 2014
Trinity Tide at Oxbridge Watermen’s Challenge 2014

Nine crews of six battle it out to be crowned head of the river in two divisions. There will be two divisions of six boats (order to be notified on the day) plus the Oxbridge cutters.  The Trinity Tide; Trinity House Watermen’s Cutter is rowed by Capt Joe Lane and his amazing crew.

trinity tide and crew
Joe Lane (on the right) and his crew at the Green Man event in 2013

Between 1549 and 1799, The Tallow Chandlers were a major presence on the River Thames.Presentation1
Since 1999, they’ve been back on the river again, to row in their Thames Waterman Cutters The Tallow Chandler and The Dove.
Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today

3 days in london app free mobile app
FREE #3DIL App

for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon

for Apple Apps  http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon

 

 

Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+

BNY Mellon Boat Race 2015

Nearly 200 years ago during Easter vacation in 1829, two young men decided to set up a boating challenge; ‘that the University of Cambridge hereby challenge the University of Oxford to row a match at or near London, each in an eight-oared boat during the ensuing Easter vacation.

bny mellon boat race 2014
spectators begin to arrive

The ‘Boat Race'; now known as the BNY Mellon Boat Race takes place by tradition on a weekend close to Easter; an annual contest between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.  Raced along the Thames Tideway between Putney & Mortlake, the two rowing crews pit their strength and skills against each other in a boat race that is amongst the oldest sporting events in the world; the Oxford/Cambridge challenge was first raced on 10 June 1829 in Henley on Thames, the 2nd race in 1836 in London.

In 2014 a clash of oars put one of the Cambridge rowers half into the water for 5 lengths and handed Oxford an 11-length victory.

bny mellon boat race 2014
Oxford win the race 2014
bny mellon boat race 2014
Cambridge reach the finish line 2014

Best viewing would be anywhere along the river between Putney & Mortlake. For the finish, the best viewing is to be had at Mortlake near Chiswick Bridge and along Duke’s Meadow and on the Chiswick Bridge.

bny mellon boat race 2014
not a space to be had on the bridge just before the main race #WhichBlueRU

There are a number of food vendors on the site so you won’t go hungry as well as which The Ship pub is open for business

bny mellon boat race 2014
food vendors
bny mellon boat race 2014
The Ship Pub at Mortlake – the fartherest white building ;)

Fast forward to 2015 and with just days to go to what has become the Annual Boat Race watched by thousands in London and millions around the world on TV, sporting history will be made on Saturday 11th April when the BNY Mellon Boat Race is joined for the first time by The Newton Women’s Boat Race.

The Newton Women’s Boat Race, established in 1927 will for the first time race the same course and Sir Steve Redgrave, one of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians with present the trophies to the victors!. Be there or miss out! Saturday 11th April 2015 4.50pm for The Newton Women’s Boat Race & 5.50pm for the BNY Mellon Boat Race #WhichBlueRU

The race has not been without some excitement; in 2012 some bloke jumped into the river causing mayhem with the race being restarted at the half-way point.

bny mellon boat race 2014
The support boats follow close behind

For this and many more events remember to download you FREE 3DaysInLondon App

Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today

3 days in london app free mobile app
FREE #3DIL App

for Android Apps http://bit.ly/3DaysInLondon

for Apple Apps  http://bit.ly/3DaysOutInLondon

 

 

Connect with me on Social Media where I also post information about events, history and interesting snippets about London
Find me on Twitter
Connect on Facebook
Share your images on Instagram
Connect on Google+

information for travellers to london