Thursday, June 13, 2013

Old and New

I am humming right along on "Souvenir de France."  And I am enjoying stitching it - thus far no frogs on the scene.

Today we took in Very Old London and a bit of Very New London.

The walk to the Museum of London from St. Paul's incorporated the new with this ever changing piece of neon art...

...and the old with these many signs reminding us of what no longer was.
See the blue box?  Before the days of radios or cellphones, London’s beat  police and members of the public in need,  could communicated with police stations by a chain of phones, either in blue boxes, like Dr Who’s famous Tardis, or in simpler structures such as this one. It is just outside Postman’s Park.  More about the park later.

Fittingly, the Museum of London is located next to a large bit of the Roman remains of London Wall.  I could happily look at that for hours thinking about what once was.

A elephant's foot.  Weird to think of hippos and elephants roaming about London.
The Museum of London documents the area from prehistoric times...

The memorial marker for a 15 year old boy commissioned by his grieving mother.  Some emotions are timeless. 
...through the Roman occupation...

The Cheapside Hoard of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewelry
...the Middle Ages to Jacobean times and forward to the present.

My Mom has a small collection of British royalty paperweights, cups, and enamelled boxes.  She quite liked these cups which commemorated the coronation of Charles II.

I quite liked this amazing dress with its ultra-wide panniers.

Tourists have been bringing back trinkets from London for centuries.
These enamelled boxes are from the early 1700's.

Queen Victoria played with this set of dolls as a young girl.

If you watched the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony, you might remember some of these costumes.

And look what the gift shop had for sale!  100 year-old bobbins.  Yes, I bought a couple of them.

On our walk back to the tube station we came across Postman's Park.
Three former churchyards combined to make this park, once popular with postmen from the former GPO for their lunch break, hence its name.  It is one of the largest parks in the City of London. 

Painter and sculptor George Frederick Watts started a gallery of ceramic Doulton plates in 1887 in the park which mark fatal feats of bravery by ordinary men, women and children.  It is quietly moving.  For many years it was neglected, but I noticed a new plate from 2007 which now has place of pride.

Three former churchyards combined to make this park, once popular with postmen from the former GPO for their lunch break - hence the name.  It is one of the largest parks in the City of London and a tranquil oasis for squirrels, birds, and people.

The next surprise on our walk was the award-winning Christchurch Greyfriar's Garden (3rd Prize 2012 Best Small Public Garden).The garden is on the site of the Franciscan Church of Greyfriars which was established in 1225 following the arrival of a group of Italian Franciscan monks.  They were called Greyfriars because of the color of their clothing. Their monastery had many notable benefactors including the famous Lord Mayor, Richard Whittington who founded a library here in 1429. Many well-known people were buried in the old church, including four queens. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was converted for use as a parish church. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and then rebuilt by Christopher Wren.  Unfortunately all but the west tower of the new church was later destroyed in WWII.  Its destruction makes it even more amazing that the much larger nearby St. Paul's survived The Blitz. 

The present rose garden was laid out on the site in 1989 with rose beds and box hedges outlining the nave of Wren's church, and with wooden towers representing the pillars which held up the roof. 

The Panyer Boy
As we neared the tube stop, this plaque caught my eye.  ‘When ye have sought the city round yet this is still the highest ground.’ This alley was once the centre of London’s bakeries, and was said (incorrectly) to be its highest point. This boy on his breadbasket has been in this area since 1688.  He now sits just beside St Paul's Tube Station.

Pretty, pretty St. Paul's. Our last sight before taking the stairs down to the tube. 


Margaret said...

So cool! I really love those King Charles commemorative cups and the dolls Queen Victoria played with as a child.

Maggee said...

What a contrast of a day you had! That phone booth was cool! And a Roman Wall in London... never considered that... IF you felt like getting more of those bobbins, I can send you $$. Just sayin... Hugs!

Barb said...

It just amazes me to think about just how very old things are in England. I have found everything about this so interesting!!

Annette-California said...

That is soo cool! I loved getting to see all the fascinating trinkets, dolls, memorial marker, 100 yr old spools of threads and love the Boy sitting on the bread basket. Amazing! Your SdF is looking very pretty:) Love all the gardens too. Great day you had. love Annette

Chris said...

Sigh... Such a lovely day!

Vickie said...

Awesome Beth! I really like QueenVictoria's dolls. :)

Giovanna said...

Great pics - thanks for sharing. It was great to see the old wall again.

Athena at Minervas Garden said...

Quite a glorious juxtupostion of new and old, Beth. I normally like the old stuff more than the new, but I found those neon round shapes at the beginning quite compelling--I love the colors! And can you imagine wearing one of those huge dresses? Loved seeing the London wall and the 100-year-old bobbins, too.

Kathy Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and history on your tour of London. It truly is fascinating to think of all of the history that lies there over the centuries. When you read the stories at these ancient places, you can almost immerse yourself in it and imagine those times gone by, can't you?

Hope that the rest of your trip is wonderful and just as memorable.

Melanie said...

Sooooooooo cool!
That dress is fabulous. Can you imagine wearing that when it was new and in tip-top shape? Stunning.