St Bartholomew's gatehouse that leads to the oldest parish church in London - St Bartholomew-the-Great - was built in the sixteenth century and is where Queen Mary ate chicken and drank red wine while watching Protestant martyrs burn at the stake. It was only when a first World War German Zeppelin bomb in 1916 fell nearby that the tiles to this arch fell off to reveal this Elizabethan half timber fronted house built in 1597. Rear view of the Elizabethan gate house.
Hidden in the centre of London, the ruins of St-Dunstan-in-the-East, a church built in the eleventh century and severely damaged during The Blitz. The ruins were repurposed into this Victorian gothic dreamscape of a public garden, crawling with Virginia creepers and creepily atmospheric.
The London Stone in Cannon Street is the oldest piece of London. It was moved in the 1700s from the south side of the street to the north side and built into the wall of the former Church of Saint Swithun before the church was bombed in WW2, yet the stone was left unharmed. The name “London Stone” was first recorded in historical documents around 1100. - Click on pin for full history.
Sagrada Familia: This is just the beginning... Anyone who has been inside the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s monumental church in Barcelona, Spain, will agree that its long and winding stone staircases in each 170 m-tall spire are by far the building’s scariest features – about 20 stories tall without a handrail.
The Ankerwycke yew There may be yew trees in Britain that are older but the 31-ft wide yew (Taxus baccata) found in the ruined priory of Ankerwycke in Berkshire has witnessed at least 2,000 years of history and myth-making. It is said to have been the spot where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 and is rumoured to be where Henry VIII conducted his first liaisons with Anne Boleyn. Many yews are found close to abbeys or in church yards.
LEEDS CASTLE, Kent. Aerial view. First built in 1119, the castle became a royal palace for Edward I and Eleanor of Castile in 1278, who added the successive gatehouse defences of the barbican. It was later transformed by Henry VIII for Catherine of Aragon.