30 March 2015

Hylands House

I have started working as a volunteer gardener at Hylands House. When I told my daughter she gave me one of her looks (she raises one eyebrow and looks very stern) and said "With a garden and an allotment do you really need another gardening job mother"!! She's right of course, and has my best interests at heart, but I'm only doing 3 hours one day a week. There are 26 volunteers, and between us we do weeding, pruning, very light digging and general tidying of the beds and borders.

Hylands House, is a beautiful Grade II* listed property, restored to its former glory and situated in 574 acres of historic landscaped parkland. The garden dates back to the early 1900’s. It has herbaceous beds lined with Box edging and standard roses, including Mary Rose and Ann Boleyn varieties. Several of the gardens are planted in period styles. The usual pretty spring flowers are adorning the park, and lots of gorgeous hellebores, this one had a busy little visitor.

Nestled within the walks of the Pleasure Gardens is the One World Garden opened in 2007 by Prince William and the Duke of York at the 21st World Scout Jamboree to celebrate the Centenary of Scouting. The design of this small gem of a garden is based on the principles of the Scouting movement and is designed as a children’s garden.  Its inspiration comes from the ideals of the Arts and Craft movement, with the emphasis on the use of traditional skills, materials and design. As well as stunning specimen plants there is a carved totem pole in a small lawned area.

The Hylands horses can regularly be seen working or exercising around the estate, especially in the woodlands. They were reintroduced to Hylands in June 2008, as part of the final stage of the Heritage Lottery Fund project to restore the Estate. The Suffolk Punch breed was chosen because they are a local heavy horse. Mrs Hanbury, Hylands' last private owner of the estate stabled a variety of breeds between 1922 and 1962.

Falcon is a 6 year old Suffolk Punch and Joseph is a Heavy Shire horse

Aren't they handsome

There are other horses stabled here but they are working away at the moment

These male ducks were relentless in the pursuit of the female but she was being very aloof!

28 March 2015

Borough Market

Back on terra firma and just a short walk away from the Shard is the superb Borough Market, renowned for exceptional British and international produce, a haven for anyone who loves eating and drinking- who doesn't?!!

As far back as the 11th century London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. In the 13th century traders relocated to what is now Borough High Street and a market has existed there ever since. In 1755 the market was closed by Parliament, but a group of Southwark residents raised £6,000 (a princely sum in those days!) to buy a patch of land known locally as The Triangle, once the churchyard of St Margaret's church, and reopened the market in 1756. 

Shocking behaviour!!

The Sports poster is dated 1914 and the admission price was sixpence. When I stood and looked at the background I imagined all those people going about their daily business and wondered what they would make of London today, with buildings like the Shard just down the road.

Southwark Cathedral

Cafes, bars and restaurants offer a plethora of goodies, bakery, 
charcuterie, dairy, drinks, seafood, meat, fruit and veg.

                           A novel use for an old telephone box

And to finish off a perfect day you can go home with a 
beautiful bunch of flowers and some pretty tableware. 

24 March 2015

Something Old, Something New

And on to Something New - The Shard London's highest and best view, almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London, offering unparalleled 360 degree views 
for up to 40 miles - well, on a fine day which this wasn't.

I'm an old fashioned girl at heart and when it comes to architecture I prefer
classical buildings. Architects and planners get very excited at the prospect of
modern and I know there is a place for it, we have to progress, and some modern
buildings are very nice, but I just don't think this is the right setting for this one.

Visibility was less than 40 miles but not as limited as we thought it would be. 
Considering the blanket cloud cover, and taken behind glass, 
I was quite pleased with my photos.

Tower Bridge

HMS Belfast

I think it's 
Cannon Street station that this line is going into below

I like the rooftop gardens

St Paul's Cathedral

London Eye

I wasn't sure if I would be able to go out onto the viewing decks but I was fine. 
I felt a little perturbed when the building swayed though! 
We even went up to the open air deck on the 72nd floor, a mere 244.3 metres or 802 ft!!..........

Denise and myself with a celebratory drink

As we were leaving a young man (a member of staff) asked if we had seen the loos, 
Denise and I exchanged looks and replied no. 
"Ah" he said, "perhaps you would like to," "ok" we said and.....

A Loo With A View!! 

I will leave you with this thought - we didn't think to ask if those windows were 
blacked out from the outside, but at that height only passengers in low flying 
aircraft or the window cleaners  would get a good view !!!

21 March 2015

Something Old, Something New

A friend and myself had a day in London on Thursday - overcast and cold, why didn't we go on Friday - sunny and warm, c'est la vie, can plan the day but not the weather, you just have to make the most of it, which we did and had a great day. We were dropped off at Southwark Bridge.

started with the Something Old - The Globe Theatre exhibition and tour. The informative exhibition explores the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived and the theatre for which he wrote. For the theatre tour we had a brilliant guide who knew every fact and story of the history of this iconic building

In 1576 actor manager James Burbage built the theatre in Shoreditch. Shakespeare joined the company in the 1580's. In 1596 a dispute arose over the renewal of the lease. Burbage died in 1597 and a month later the lease expired. The company then performed at the nearby Curtain playhouse. In December 1598 they did something quite drastic - they leased a plot near the Rose, a rival theatre in Southwark, demolished the Shoreditch theatre and carried its timbers over the river! By 1599 the theatre was up and running and thrived for 14 years, performing many of Shakespeare's greatest plays. In 1613 during a performance of Henry V111 a stage cannon was set off, but it misfired, the thatch roof caught fire and the theatre burned to the ground in minutes. It was quickly rebuilt with a tiled roof and remained the home for Shakespeare's company until those cheerless Puritans closed it in 1642, and in 1644 it was demolished.

It's not actually truly circular. 
The archaeological excavation of the Rose theatre in 1989 revealed that the Elizabethan playhouses were polygonal and that a small portion of the Globe itself revealed that it was a 20 sided building.

The stage was being set for a production of Othello with a difference, set during WW1
as part of Born to Be, a youth engagement programme. 

The rebuilding of today's Globe theatre was initiated by the American actor, director and producer Sam Wanamaker after his first visit to London in 1949. Twenty one years later he founded what was to become the Shakespeare Globe Trust. After 23 years of tireless fundraising, researching and planning he died in 1993. Three and a half years later the theatre was completed using painstakingly accurate techniques. ‘Green’ oak was used, oak laths and staves support lime plaster and the walls are covered in white lime wash. The roof is made of water reed thatch. Other than concessions to comply with modern day fire regulations the Globe is as accurate a reconstruction as was possible with the available evidence

We weren't able to go into the Sam Wanamaker theatre, this is a model of what it looks like inside.

Lunch and then on to Something New - The View From the Shard,
to follow as soon as I have sorted out the best pictures!

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