The Kaledarium Hortense is a classic gardening book by John Evelyn. It takes the gentleman gardener through the year, detailing what he is meant to do in the garden with fruit vegetables and flowers. Much of his advice is straight forward gardening knowledge and logic, and something you may well hear on TV, radio or […]Read More The Gard’ner’s Almanac
“On Saturday morning, an accident which has unfortunately terminated fatally, occurred to a man named Dobson,” starts a news article from the 1850s. “The deceased sat upon the stone while it was being raised, to prevent it shaking the scaffolding”. I read this out loud to an audience as part of a talk on the […]Read More SHOCKING ACCIDENT
The meaning of historic places has very much changed in recent years. People have been using them in very different and personal ways, above and beyond the usual interest in architecture and historical events. I’ve seen this developing at an historic site I’ve been visiting for the past 15 years or so. It was an […]Read More The Abbey
Claes Visscher’s panorama of London is one of the most famous images of the City for many reasons. We see the various landmarks across London, such as the churches, Leadenhall and the Exchange, all of them labelled. Architecturally the panorama is superb, with the buildings drawn in great quality, detail and precision. It shows us […]Read More Visscher’s People
I don’t really believe in ghosts, or the supernatural, but I am fascinated by it. Rationally, I don’t believe in ghosts. Emotionally, I want to, or rather, want to be left with a feeling of mystery. I am caught between two worlds. Rational logic and emotional desire. I am not looking to explain, nor indulge […]Read More There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…
An important peace treaty and charter was agreed and sealed at the beginning of the 13th century, that isn’t talked about that much today. It is tantalisingly possible to track down the exact place and the day it all happened on. The treaty of Kingston was agreed on an “island on the River Thames at […]Read More The Treaty of Kingston – on this day and on this spot?
The London Underground has given me high expectations. As soon as I set foot on the platform, I expect the train to arrive instantaneously. Once left the station, the train whisks me to my next destination, where I catch another to take me home. Everything is rushed. I can’t afford to miss that connection and […]Read More A glimpse of the past London Underground through the means of Vertical Archaeology
This doodle of two entwined birds was drawn in May 1670 while recording the names of an illegal gathering in Kingston Upon Thames. The image is on the back of a document held in the Kingston upon Thames archives. It is a simple line sketch, using one stroke of a quill and ink pen, creating […]Read More The Hand in Hand Birds
Puddingstone is nothing culinary. It’s geological, mythological, historical, and extremely intriguing. As stone goes it is awkward. It looks like a wonderful fruit pudding, or cake, just before it goes in the oven. There is a rich brown colour to it, but not too dark. There are various sized pebbles, some whole, some broken or […]Read More Standon Puddingstone
There used to be a joke. Look up Engineering in the Yellow Pages – it says “See Boring”. A whole generation, or more accurately, the post modern generation, labelled engineering as being something for the un-adventurous, for those without passion or compassion. The subject has no style, taste or philosophy. It is an occupation not […]Read More Engineering is a thing of beauty.