U.K. 2013 

Day 18, Friday

September 20, 2013



Our plan for today was to meet my other papermodeler  friend,  Mike Stamper and his wife, Val.   Since the grocery store next door was being remodeled, we had not found another one to buy breakfast supplies, so we went to a Starbucks coffee and two sweets. 

Then we walked up our street about a mile, passing the George Inn, where we were last night and found the London Bridge station which is located next to the Shard building, which is supposed to be the tallest building in England and maybe Europe.  Mike had sent us his photo plus he said that he would be wearing red pants.  We met exactly as planned.  They had ridden the train to London.  The sky began turning blue and the sun was shining.  We were beginning to think that the sun never shined in England.  In fact, it was a beautiful day with a lot of sunshine.   It had to take off my hat and unzipped my jacket.

I first met Mike on line when he found my webpage.  He is the one who introduced me to www. papermodelers.com. He is an avid papermodeler.  We have been writing personal emails for over three years.   He and his wife were charming.   He gave me a book on London’s Cathedral and Churches plus a small book on the London Churches. (My suit case is full of books as I have bought one at every church that we have visited.)

We started walking by crossing the London Bridge and winding around the streets of The City, which is one square mile of finance, insurance, and banking.  London is quite a mixture of architecture with old Victorian buildings next to modern all glass skyscrapers. They pointed out all kinds of interesting places. 



We went in the Royal Exchange Courtyard.






Next to the Guildhall Art Galley where we visited the old Roman Amphitheatre ruins, which were discovered under the building.



The Lord Mayor’s mansion is of Greek style.






Mike and Val took us in four interesting old churches. 


ST. MICHAEL, CORNHILL  see ‘A’ on the map above

The Church lies over the remains of the Basilica – the northern most part of the great Roman Forum built in the first century AD. It stands near to the site of a church founded by King Lucius in AD 179 - the oldest site of Christian worship in London. The name ‘Cornhill’ is first mentioned in the 12th century, the ‘hill’ indicating the rising ground on which St. Michael’s stands, and ‘corn’ being derived from the corn-market which was once held there.

The Church of St. Michael’s is known to have been in existence before the Norman Conquest.

 The Church, with the exception of the tower, was completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The present Church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren between 1669 and 1672. The interior, with its majestic Tuscan columns, was beautified and repaired in 1701 and again in 1790. Pre-Victorian features that remain in the Church today include 17th paintings of Moses and Aaron incorporated into the reredos, as well as a wooden sculpture of 'Pelican in her Piety' dating from 1775.

In 1716, the poet Thomas Gray, famous for his 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard', was born in a milliner's shop adjacent to St. Michael's and was baptized in the Church. The font in which this occurred, dating from 1672, still remains. The tower was rebuilt in the ‘Gothick’ style between 1718 and 1722, the work being commenced by Wren and completed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. It houses 12 bells, all of which were originally cast by the Phelps Foundry of Whitechapel.

The interior was extensively remodelled in the High Victorian manner by Sir George Gilbert Scott between 1857 and 1860. In addition, an ensemble of stained glass was made by the firm Clayton & Bell and a new porch, with a tympanum sculpture of St. Michael by John Birnie Philip, was added.

The Church was fortunate to escape serious damage in the Second World War. The interior was restored in 1960, with the roofs and the nave of the tower being renewed in 1975.


ST. MAGNUS THE MARTYR     see “B” on map above

The church is dedicated to St Magnus the Martyr, earl of Orkney, who died on 16 April 1118. He was executed on the island of Egilsay having been captured during a power struggle with his cousin, a political rival. Magnus had a reputation for piety and gentleness and was canonized in 1135.

 St. Magnus was situated at the north end of London Bridge, until the bridge was moved in 1831. This church has a Christopher Wren steeple and a very beautiful white and gold interior.

Sir Christopher Wren rebuild the body of the present church in 1671 after the great fire. The steeple is 185 feet tall and is based on that of the church of St. Charles Borromee in Antwerp. A large 1700 clock projected from the west side before 1831 but now is hidden away behind the Adelaide house. 

When we entered the church, we saw a tunnel vaulted ceiling with tall Ionic columns with gilded capitals. These are the features that TS Eliot famously mentioned in The Wasteland. The focus of the interior is the magnificent reredos, which is double the normal size. The pulpit is a fine example of a 17th century ornate design.  Miles Coverdale, Bible translator and a former rector, is buried here.


 ST. MARY ALDERMARY    see “C” on map above.

There is been a church on this site for over 900 years and its name usually is taken to mean that it is the oldest of the city churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In 1510, Sir Henry Keeble, a grocer and Lord Mayor, finance the building of a new church on the site. When he died in 1518 tower was unfinished and was not completed until 1629. The church was among the largest and finest of the city churches and a number of notables were buried there.

John Oliver, one of Christopher Wren’s deputies rebuilt the church after the great fire, following the late perpendicular style of the Sir Henry Keeble’s church. St. Mary Altermary is the only surviving Wren church in the city of London built in the Gothic style. The Church escaped relatively lightly in World War II. All the windows were shattered and some plaster fell from the vaulting but the building itself remained intact.

The tower is of perfect proportions. The interior is quite magnificent with a beautiful fan vaulted ceiling.  


ST.MARY LE BOW    see “D” on map above

St. Mary LeBeau was built by Christopher Wren in 1671 – 80.

It cost more to build than any of the parish churches after the great fire and almost half of the money was spent on the steeple, which is 230 feet high and surmounted by a dragon vein 9 feet long.

The present church is the work of Lawrence King in 1956 – 64, reusing Wren’s walls and steeple. It was a restoration and classical style which differs from Christopher Wren’s interior.

The body of the church is built in red brick with Portland stone dressings. The barrel vaulted interior is only three bays long, but it is wide, and because the aisles are so narrow it seems very spacious.

The bishop’s chair now stands north of the sanctuary, but it was intended to stand against the east wall, as in ancient times. What appears to be the reredos was meant to be the screen of honor for the chair and not a normal altarpiece; the bishop’s miter in the arms of the Bishop of London surmount it.  



Opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, which we visited yesterday, is a new eight story modern building called One New Chance, which was completed in 2010.  It is a shopping center with sixty shops and restaurants.  The roof top is accessible so we went on top which is about level with St. Paul’s dome. The photo is of Mike, Me and Val. There were wonderful views of London. 



Then we walked across the Millennium Bridge which is a modern foot bridge across the Thames.  Looking back across the bridge, there is a wonderful view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.




We walked past Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, but did not go in.  I have a model of it which I have not yet made.





At 1:00 we stopped at the Tas Pide, a famous Turkish Restaurant. Mike and Val evidently have eaten there often.  We ordered a “Turkish tapas” selection – about 8 bowls of different food.  Each of us sampled everything.  It was very good, but I can’t tell you what it was.


After we ate, we walked a little and came to the Southwark Cathedral which lies on the south bank of the river Thames close to the London Bridge.


SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL   see "F" on map above


 It is the mother church of the Anglican diocese of Southwark. It has been a place of Christian worship for more than 1000 years. The earliest reference to the site was in the Doomsday Book survey of 1086.

The church was severely damaged in the great fire of 1212. Rebuilding took place during the 13th century. Followed by a another fire in the 1390s. Following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, it became a parish church. The present building retains the basic form from the Gothic structure built between 1220 and 1420.

By the early 19th century the fabric of the church had fallen into disrepair. All of the medieval furnishings were gone and the interior was in terrible condition. Between 1818 and 1830 the tower and the choir were restored in effort to return to church to his 13 century appearance.

In 1831 the nave roof which had become unsafe was removed, leaving the interior open to the weather. In 1839 nave was demolished and rebuilt.

The parish church was designated as a Cathedral in 1905 when the church of England diocese of South work was created. The cathedral stands in a heavily damaged area by German bombings during the Second World War. Of the 1600+ bombs they were dropped in the area only one damaged the cathedral.

The interior was very beautiful with a long nave leading to a choir and a magnificently carved reredos behind the altar. This church has been associated with many famous people.

In a few blocks we were back to London Bridge station where we started.. making a big loop. Mike and Val headed for the train, and we walked back to our apartment.  We found a grocery and bought some breakfast food.    We got home about 3:00.   We have a washer dryer in the apartment so we did a washing. 

At 7:00 boarded the tube for the Tower of London.  We have dinner reservations in a fine restaurant under the Tower Bridge.  Afterward we had tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.  

 We took the tube from around the corner then changed metros and got off a Tower Bridge.  We wandered around a little until we found our restaurant, Perkins Reveler, which is located under the bridge.  We had a very good dinner.  I had salmon and Kathleen had sea bream and a pear tart for dessert.  Kathleen had a glass of English sparkling wine.  It was good.  For security, the lower gate to the Tower of London is closed at 9 pm.  It’s the gate we needed, so we had to walk all the way around again. 

The Ceremony of the Keys is held every night at 9:30, in fact every night for the past 777 years in the Tower of London.  We will return to the Tower of London tomorrow, and I will give its history. The evening ceremony was rather impressive.  The Master of the Keys gave some explanation and the ceremony involved locking the main gate and several others.

We found the metro and did the changes and got back home with no problem. We had a very enjoyable and full day.  



Day 1 -Arrival in Edinburgh

Day 2 - Edinburgh

Day 3- Edinburgh to Inchcolm Abbey

Day 4 - Edinburgh to Melrose & Rosslyn

DAY 5 - Edinburgh   

DAY 6 - Edinburgh

DAY 7 - York  

DAY 8 - Durham

DAY 9 -York 

DAY 10 - Lincoln

DAY 11 -Ely  

DAY 12 - Peterborough

DAY 13 - Cambridge 

DAY 14 - Ely to Worchester  

DAY 15 - Tewkesbury and Gloucester

DAY 16 - Hereford         

DAY l7 - London   

DAY 18 - London  

DAY 19 - London   

DAY 20 - London to Guildford, Chichester, Midhurst

DAY 21 - London      OUR LAST DAY