Saturday, June 22, 2013

London Bridge Is Bustling Along

It's not raining! Are you up to exploring a new bit of London?

With the closure of the Northern Underground line, we ended up popping up like moles at Bank.  Then we walked south to Monument.  I'd never given any thought as to how Monument tube station came to be named.
Well, here's the Monument.  Designed by Christopher Wren (of course), it commemorates the Great Fire of London.

The Monument / London Bridge area, like much of London is a mix of old and new.  The Shard shares the area with another of Wren's churches, St. Magnus the Martyr. 

Looking from London Bridge, there's a great view of the Tower Bridge.

And a wonderful view of Cannongate Station and St. Paul's.
Christopher Wren lived in this area while work progressed on St. Paul's.  He could literally keep an eye on it as it was being built.

Our next stop, the famous Borough Market.

The place was hopping!

My Mom was taken with the pottery on the upper right and bought a creamer.

The Borough Market is quite large and has over 180 vendors.
It's open for lunch Monday-Wednesday, while Thursday-Saturday there is a full market and longer opening hours.

It sells an amazing array of produce.  
Fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, eggs, cheese, breads, baked goods, mushrooms, and olives.  Plus there are lots of food stands for a quick and tasty lunch or snack.  We sampled so many different cheeses, that we didn't need lunch, but nonetheless split an order of fish and chips.  

Southwark Cathedral is right next door to the Market.
Norman churches have a special place in my heart. 

I think that it is incredible that at a time when most people lived in something not far removed from mud and wattle, some people had the vision and skills to construct these immense soaring structures.
Southwark has wonderful exterior stone work.

It also has a resident Cathedral Cat named Doorkins Magnificat!
You can read more about Doorkins here.

Southwark Cathedral soars inside as well.

As is often the case, there are wonderful stone details inside the church.
The upper right image is an alabaster statue of William Shakespeare.

The cathedral is 300 feet in length!

It has a beautiful organ and some interesting 20th century stained glass windows.

This brilliantly colored window wins hands-down in my book.  It was installed in 2012 and commemorates Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.

We'll end our outing today by pausing at this GVIR pillar mailbox.
 George VI (1895-1952) was Queen Elizabeth's father and ruled from 1936-1952.


Angie Burrett said...

Lovely photos Beth

Karen said...

Beth, I'm loving your pics...thanks for sharing your travels with us.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

Another lovely cathedral - the inside is so beautiful but those gargoyles outside are really quite ugly:-)
Tower Bridge really stands out, it's one of these easy to recognise features from around the world.

Margaret said...

Fantastic! Love seeing the sites!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Everything is beautiful. I liked the pottery, glad your Mom purchased a piece.

Cricket-bug Corner said...

I just read "Pillars of the Earth" love seeing the cathedrals! Thanks for sharing

Barb said...

So many amazing sights. That Cathedral was beautiful. The market reminded me of the Grand Island in Vancouver.

Vickie said...

Wow! I just love the cathedral. The Cathedral Cat is sweet.

Melanie said...

The imps on the outside of this cathedral are quite creepy. Particularly the one with the hooved feet. Yikes.

April said...

I'm so enjoying the pictures and the writing on your post! I am enjoying my trip through you so much! lol Thank you!!

Maggee said...

Gosh--so much to see... Southwark Cathedral is amazing! You and your Mom was be quite fit, with all this walking every day! Thanks for sharing your vacation--it has been a delight every post! Hugs!

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

Loved the gargoyles, and Doorkin Magnificat!