The Mary Rose – new museum reveals its magnificence

The Mary Rose – new museum reveals its magnificence

King Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent on the south coast of England during an engagement with the French Fleet in July 1545.   The disaster was witnessed by many, including the King.   It was 450 years before she was seen again - after the world’s largest underwater archaeological excavation brought her [...]

Shakespearean theatre in London – how it started!

Shakespearean theatre in London – how it started!

The chances are you’ll come across Shakespeare at least once during your visit to London!  You might even visit the Globe Theatre for a performance.  Here’s a primer on how Shakespearean theatre started in London. Shakespeare was born in Stratford upon Avon in 1564 and spent the greatest part of his life in London - [...]

The first Queen of America!

The first Queen of America!

Here is a glittering portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn - that you can see at the National Portrait Gallery. Elizabeth I lived from 1533-1603 and reigned from 1558-1603.  This portrait was by an unknown English artist in c.1600 and is known as 'The Coronation portrait' - because [...]

Where 007 started out

Where 007 started out

This is one of a collection of buildings in Whitehall that was the centre of British naval power from the mid-1700's to the 1960's.   It is officially called the Admiralty Extension, and is on Horse Guards.  Completed in 1904, it was the workplace of Ian Flemming; creator of James Bond (and Chitty Chitty Bang [...]

Somerset House – neoclassical skating!

Somerset House – neoclassical skating!

We joined a tour of Somerset House in central London recently.  Here’s how it went. Somerset House was built by the Duke of Somerset and protector to the young Edward 6th in the later 1500’s – on land occupying a Tudor palace. Subsequently used by the Danish Queen of James 1st but then sadly burned [...]

King Henry VIII’s tiltyard in the afternoon sun

King Henry VIII’s tiltyard in the afternoon sun

Here is the site of King Henry VIII's tiltyard in central London. The area is called Horse Guards today. Such history, think of the jousting tournaments it has seen.  The tiltyard could seat 12,000 people and was a focus of London life in medieval times. It's now set to the backdrop of more recent 1750's [...]