All Hallow's by the Tower Church was the first place we visited today. This church was founded in 675.
All Hallows by the Tower
The Nave (I always want to straighten all the pews when they have been moved like this - what a rebel!)
The Tower of London depicted in a window
The altar with Nativity scene
The Nave viewed from the sanctuary. The organ was installed in 1957 to replace the previous one damaged by bombs from WWII.
St.Roch is the patron saint of those suffering from the Plague (as well as dogs, falsely accused people and bachelors!). The statue dates from abut 1510.
The font cover was carved in 1682 by Grinling Gibbons for ₤12. It is regarded as one of the finest pieces of carving in London.
This arch is from the Saxon church built in 675AD. Note the recycled Roman tiles used in its construction. It is thought to be the oldest part of any church in London.
Amongst the many interesting exhibits in the church's Undercroft Museum is the crow's nest from Ernest Shackleton's ship "Quest".
The next stop was Tower Bridge. The Tower Bridge Exhibition includes the upper walkways across the bridge as well as various exhibits and the opportunity to see the steam-driven motors which used to open the bridge.
The roadway of the bridge is currently closed for a "once in a generation" resurfacing and other maintenance works but pedestrians are still allowed.
View of the Tower from Tower Bridge
There are several places where there is a glass floor allowing one to look down on the scene below.
With the camera's zoom, I could get quite close to the action below!
The River Thames (with HMS Belfast in the centre of the photo)
Again, using the zoom, it is possible to get a much closer view of the dome of St.Paul's than in the photo above.
It's all done with mirrors!
Can you find the BT Tower in the centre back of the buildings?
It's easier to find with the zoom!
Back at ground level, this is one of the boilers which used to provide the steam to drive the engines which opened the bridge.
Some of the steam-driven machinery that used to power the opening of the bridge.
This photo shows people standing on the glass floor. It was taken from ground level looking up.
This photos shows the walkways above the road level.
Gargoyles guard bridges as well as cathedrals!
Our next visit was to the British Museum. It is huge and we only had a few hours there. It houses so many items of great interest that it is almost too much to comprehend.
The British Museum
The Bookshop had an interesting display.
The Easter Island Statue was a little smaller than I had imagined.
Just being inside the building was part of the experience. This is the Long Gallery.
This clock, made in about1733 is called the Microcosm. The astronomical clock toured Britain and North America as an entertainment. The case, which included an organ and moving pictures has been lost.
The Holy Thorn Reliquary is made of enamelled gold, sapphires, rubies and pearls and was made in Paris about 1400. It was made to contain a thorn supposedly from the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head.
You can see the thorn in this detail of the Reliquary.
The detail and workmanship is truly amazing, together with the fact that it has survived in such good condition for over 600 years!
Ulm Book Cover
These book covers, made of silver and parcel gilt, decorated the book of Epistles and Gospels on the altar of the Gothic Minster of Ulm (southern Germany). They date from around 1506.
The Virgin and Child (detail from above)
The symbol of St.Luke (winged ox)
The museum describes the above shield thus: "Parade shield; iron; circular; hammered in relief; damascened with gold and partly plated with silver; in centre a combat of horsemen within a frame surmounted by a male and female warrior; around are four frames containing female figures representing Glory, Renown, Strength and Prudence: each frame filled with minute subjects inlaid in gold, from the Iliad and ancient mythology; intervening space filled with festoons, monstrous figures, satyrs, fruits, etc; inscribed." It was made by Giorio Ghisi n 1554. The museum is FULL of wonderful items like this. I could spend every day for a month in there and still not see everything properly.
This standing cup is described thus: "Standing cup; silver parcel-gilt; form of peasant carrying wooden pannier on back; bunch of grapes in left hand, staff in right; head bare; wears kind of sandal; coat open at front with belt." It was made by Elias Lencker between 1570 and 1580 in Nuremberg.
The Lewis Chessmen are medieval and made of walrus ivy. They were found in Lewis, an island of the Ouer Hebrides, Scotland. They date to abut 1150.
Organ Clock made in London about 1755.
The Mechanical Galleon - this was just SO fascinating - I would love to see it working! Do click on the link to find out all the things it did!
1st Century Roman statue
A citole, remodelled as a violin. Made in about 1280. The British Museum website has no less than 109 photos of it! (Someone must REALLY like it!!)
This glazed brick lion was in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon (southern Iraq now). It dates from 605-562BC. It was on loan from the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin.
This Japanese clock was clearly the inspiration for... Daleks!
It was well and truly dark when we left the museum. Here are some of the Christmas decorations at Picadilly Circus:
Tonight's theatrical experience was the pantomime "Cinderella" at the London Palladium. This was a lavish, quite spectacular production which made much use of the double entendre, sometimes bordering on going too far. It was, however, a very funny and enjoyable show!